LA Times Article March 10 (see summary below)
National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases – March 6th (excellent interview clearly explaining the different types of procedures to be used to slow the virus)
Terminology explained from the interview:
Novel Coronavirus = the virus. Covid19 = the disease the virus creates.
1-Containment – stopping from coming into the community and or tracing all contacts affected by it. 2 – Mitigation – social distancing (stopping the spread) 3 – Quarantine – keeping someone suspected of being infected in a closed space. 4- Isolation – for when someone is infected.
Coronavirus expert: ‘War is an appropriate analogy’ – March 6th – (a very balanced discussion of how much more serious Covid19 is compared to the normal flu)
Summary of March 10 Los Angeles Times Article:
The focus of precautions on not spreading the virus is to slow the spread so hospitals and health care facilities can handle the surge. This is why it is important to follow the guidelines being recommended, even if you are unlikely to have serious symptoms. The system can get overloaded by the fast spread of this virus and create a disaster.
The Los Angeles County director of public health, Barbara Ferrer, on Monday called for “social distancing,” a term officials use to describe keeping people away from crowded areas in hopes of dramatically reducing the spread of an infectious disease. The goal of telling people to avoid crowds is to prevent many illnesses hitting the region all at once, health experts said.
“Our goal is to not have them all at once,” said Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, clinical associate professor of infectious diseases at Stanford University, “so that our local hospitals and clinics are not overwhelmed.” While about 80% of those who do get infected have mild illness, certain populations, like the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, are at far greater risk of severe illness and death. U.S. officials warn that peak demand for intensive care unit beds and the number of ventilators needed to help severely ill people breathe would be in extremely short supply in a pandemic.
That’s why slowing down the spread of the disease is so important, to reduce demand on hospitals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s pre-pandemic strategy.
Currently, San Francisco recommendations include:
· San Francisco has canceled all nonessential mass gatherings of 50 or more people where people aren’t separated by at least four feet from each other (about the length of an average arm) at City Hall, Moscone Center, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, New Conservatory Theatre, War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco Public Library, Pier 27 and Pier 35.
· Recommendations to cancel concerts, sports events, conventions and large community gatherings.
· Encourage people older than 50 and those with underlying health conditions from going to mass gatherings. Underlying conditions include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, obesity and weakened immune systems.
· Tell businesses to suspend nonessential employee travel.
· Minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another.
· Minimize or cancel large in-person meetings or conferences.
· Tell employees to stay home when they’re sick.
· Urge maximum flexibility in sick leave benefits.
· Don’t require a doctor’s note for sick workers.
· Consider telecommuting.
· Consider staggering start and ends times for employee shifts to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.
· For events that still go on, ensure there’s handwashing, hand sanitizers and tissues available, and high-touch surface areas and hand rails are frequently cleaned.
· Telling the public to not go out when sick.
· Transit vehicles: increase cleaning of vehicles and high-touch surface areas.
· Nursing homes and long-term care facilities: Screen all staff and visitors for illness, and turn sick people away.
· Hospitals: If it’s not needed, the public should avoid hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Even healthy people should stay away if it’s not essential to go there.
· If you are ill: Call your healthcare provider first; you might be able to be served by phone. Visit emergency rooms only when essential.
· Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Stop shaking hands.
· Cover coughs or sneeze with a tissue, if available, or into the elbow.
· Use a paper towel or tissue to touch commonly touched surfaces like elevator buttons and door handles.
· Under all circumstances, stop touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with your unwashed hands.