LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Health Department declared a "Public Health Emergency" after the state's first case of the CORVID-19 was announced in Marion County.
According to a press release, due to the confirmed case, they are providing recommendations to the community to protect persons at higher risk of serious illness due to this virus. The TCHD said it is important to remember that for most people (80%0 the virus will be mild and many in our community may get sick, the majority of will recover.
The Tippecanoe County Health Department issued the following new guidance in order to protect our citizens who are at a higher risk:
Who is at higher risk?
Information about risk factors for the Coronavirus continues to evolve, but the best evidence currently available makes clear that risk of severe illness begins to increase at age 50 for those who contract the virus, and increases with age (i.e., an 80-year-old person is at greater risk than a 70-year-old person). The highest risk group are persons age 80 and over.
Persons with underlying medical problems are also likely to be at higher risk, including persons with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those who are immunocompromised.
What should I do if I am at higher risk?
The Tippecanoe County Health Department is recommending that persons at higher risk avoid mass gatherings where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another. This would not include typical office environments, grocery stores, or shopping centers, where it is unusual for large numbers of people to be within arm’s length of one another.
I run an organization that primarily serves seniors or medically compromised individuals (e.g. nursing homes). What should I do?
We are recommending that organizations that primarily serve seniors or medically vulnerable individuals please follow these recommendations:
- cancel mass gatherings (e.g., a large bingo gathering, movie screening, etc.);
- ensure they you are attentive in following recommendations regarding cleaning of high touch surfaces, including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables;
- take all necessary measures to ensure all employees, visitors, and persons served who are experiencing any symptoms of illness stay home and avoid contact with others; and
- enhance screening of visitors, staff, and residents for symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing).
Please remember this is an evolving situation; therefore, these recommendations may change and we ask that our citizens and businesses continue watching for new guidance and following that guidance as it is released.
For those of you in our community who are not at higher risk we ask that you continue to practice the following measures:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Coronavirus.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).