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Health Promotion and Wellness Blog

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

February 19, 2020

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19.  

Lewis & Clark continues to monitor the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We are following public health guidance disseminated by the Centers for Disease Control, local health authorities, and the American College Health Association as to best practices for responding to this outbreak.

To date there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oregon. Even so, Lewis & Clark understands that both the real threat of the spread of the disease and the anxiety about the potential spread of the disease require an effective response. With that in mind, we want to share the following information with our community. (Note: this information has been adapted from the Oregon Health Authority)

If there are questions or concerns after reviewing the information below, please contact Melissa Osmond, Associate Director for Health Promotion, at 503-768-7112.

 

The Oregon Health Authority and its partners have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and stand ready to respond should any cases be confirmed in Oregon.  They have developed this fact sheet for distribution.  In addition, here are 3 things you should know about novel coronavirus:

 

  • The risk for people in Oregon and around the United States remains low. While this novel coronavirus is a serious global public health threat, the vast majority of cases have been in China, or are linked to travel in China.
  • We do not have any positive cases of COVID-19 in Oregon. As of today, there are 15 confirmed positive cases in the United States.
  • The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to take basic precautions to prevent flu and colds (e.g., washing hands, etc.). Flu remains the most immediate threat to Oregonians. It is not too late to get a flu shot.

 

We will continue to update you as the situation changes. In the meantime, OHA, the CDC and the WHO have great resources and tools to help you learn about the outbreak, steps being taken to prevent the spread of the disease:

 

 

Below are some additional FAQs about COVID-19 based on the facts that are known so far. 

 

How can a person contract COVID-19 from another person?

While we do not know all the mechanisms that spread the disease, many cases are due to an accidental transfer of bodily fluid droplets. Coronaviruses in general are spread through close contact—a range of about 3 to 6 feet. The virus is primarily spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes on someone.

 

How can I protect myself?

Use the same practical measures you would for any contagious respiratory illness, such as cold or flu:

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

 

In addition to those practical measures, CDC recommends that everyone avoids all nonessential travel to China.