COVID-19 Virus Update

March 3, 2020

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been identified in Rhode Island. There are 3 presumptive positive cases that have been identified by the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) and 38 individuals self-quarantined do to 2nd contact. All cases arrived from the same trip to Italy which points out the need to find out a person’s travel history and contact history during patient survey. Outreach to the people who were in direct contact with any of these three individuals is ongoing. These direct contacts will be self-monitoring for symptoms at home for 14 days with public health supervision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is managing contact tracing for people on the return flight that these three individual took back to the United States.

North Providence has been monitoring COVID-19 since its first discovery in China. The same Infectious control practice should be followed as for the flu of any other communicable disease. Because human coronaviruses most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, Rhode Islanders are reminded to take the same measures that healthcare providers recommend annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses.

• Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
• Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
• Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
• Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.
At this time, we are at low risk and monitoring the situation. If COVID-19 escalates we are prepared to provide Town wide safety measures.

Director Emergency Management
John A Silva

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