Stay Informed and
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Citywide closures are becoming a norm given the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the US. If your city or town has not evoked a quarantine or Shelter In-Place Order, don't be surprised if over the next coming days or weeks your local governments begin to issue them.
Here are some important facts to know. The quarantines and the shelter in-place orders will not close down businesses that are essential. It is recommended that you prepare to have at least 10 days of supplies to minimize your exposure in public, but not because you won’t be able to buy groceries or seek medical attention if needed. Below is a list of what qualifies a business as essential or non-essential.
What is an essential business?
While cities do have the ability to decide and limit what they consider essential during a time of crisis, here is a common list of essential businesses.
- Supermarkets and grocery stores
- Convenience stores and discount stores
- Garbage collection
- Healthcare operations
- Hardware stores
- Gas stations
- Post offices and shipping businesses
- Veterinary clinics and pet stores
- Farmers' markets and food banks
- Businesses that provide necessities to shelters and economically disadvantaged people
- Warehousing, storage, and distribution
- Public Transit and other means of transportation including taxis
What is non-essential business?
Non-essential businesses are everything else that falls outside of these limits or are not needed to make an essential business run. They are considered to be more recreationally focused but may still be accessible online. They include but are not limited to:
- Gyms and recreation centers
- Salons and spas
- Casinos and racetracks
- Shopping malls
- Bowling alleys
- Sporting and concert venues
- Restaurants and bars
- Liquor stores
- Industrial manufacturing not related to essential function
- Marijuana dispensaries
- Home office supply stores
What are symptoms of COVID-19?
People may be sick with the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. The most common symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. More rarely, the disease can be serious and even fatal. Older people, and people with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.
People may experience:
- difficulty breathing (severe cases)
The following was taken directly from the World Health Organization. If you have any further questions, you can visit them here.
Who is most at risk?
COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Other high-risk conditions could include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
- People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
- People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk
- Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
The following information is directly from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. For more information visit their websitehere.
How does COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
What can I do to protect myself?
While COVID-19’s biggest impact on the globe is how fast it spreads, there are many ways that you can protect yourself to ensure that you keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
- Wash your hands constantly: Make sure you are washing your hands especially when leaving your house or coming in contact with other people. It is recommended that you wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 60 seconds. If you have hand sanitizer that is 60% or high alcohol, you should continue to disinfect your hands with that as well.
- Avoid touching your face: Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth at all costs. It also recommended that when washing your face you also gently clean in the inside of your nostrils if you have been in contact with someone who is sick.
- Keep your workstations and personal devices clean: If you're working for an essential business that is open during the shutdowns, make sure that you are protecting yourself by constantly wiping down your workstation, especially your computer keyboard, desk phone and cell phone. If you are working from home, it is still recommended that you keep your workstations clean, especially if you have been outside your home for any length of time.
- Practice Social Distancing: As mentioned in some of the above questions, symptoms can take up to 14 days to show. That means it is extremely important to maintain distance between you and your friends and family at all costs.
How long does the virus last outside the body?
There are a few mixed opinions for how long the virus can last on surfaces outside of the body. However, new analysis found that the virus can:
- remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours
- on copper for up to 4 hours
- on cardboard up to 24 hours
- on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours.
This study was originally published in the preprint database medRxiv on March 11, and now a revised version was published March 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine.