Coronavirus Dos and Don’ts

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LaQuandra Nesbitt, M.D., director of the D.C. Department of Health, and Mayor Muriel Bowser on Feb. 26. Photo by Jeff Malet.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has outlined a Mayor’s Order on Coronavirus, technically named COVID-19. If you’re worried about the virus, there have been no documented cases in the D.C. area as of press time.

There are some simple things to do to help prevent the spread of illness, applicable not just to coronavirus but to many other types of ailments. Mayor Bowser’s recommendations mirror the CDC’s ones.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (some recommend singing“Happy Birthday” twice). For a list of 19 more options, BuzzFeed came to the rescue. It is especially helpful to wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with sick individuals.
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (but good luck finding some — many stores have been out of stock and some sanitizers have been selling on Amazon for hundreds of dollars).
  • Stay home from work or school until you are fever-free or show no signs of a fever or any other symptoms for at least 24 hours and without the use of fever-reducing/symptom-altering medications.
  • Seek medical help if you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus or the flu. Call your health care providerbefore visiting a facility.

It is also recommended that citizens have an adequate supply of nonprescription drugs and other health supplies like cough suppressants, cold meds, fluids and vitamins on hand. Be sure to have a thermometer, tissues, soap and hand sanitizer, as well as nonperishable food items.

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