Good afternoon, all.
 
With rapidly changing news on coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to reach out with two messages.
 
First, we are monitoring updates from the Maryland Developmental Disability Administration (DDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As information updates, we will forward it to all JFGH staff to keep you informed.
 
Second, we wanted to provide reminders and updated guidance on coronavirus prevention. Sources are DDA, CDC and CMS.
 
The single most important thing you can do is wash your hands! As the name suggests, coronavirus is viral. The most common transmission is touching an item that has been infected by someone else, and then touching your mouth or eyes with an unwashed hand. It sounds so simple, and yet it’s so critical to just wash your hands. CDC guidelines on hand washing are soap and water for 20 seconds.
 
From the CDC:
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
 
·        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.
·        Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
·        Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
o  Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 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 health care facility).
o  CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
·        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.
 
From Maryland DDA:
State agencies continue to develop comprehensive and coordinated prevention and response plans for COVID-19. For up-to-date information and resources, including the latest on COVID-19 in Maryland, please visit   health.maryland.gov/coronavirus
 
The DDA wants you to protect yourselves and others by taking the following precautions:
 
·      Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
·      Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
·      Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
·      If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
·      Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
·      Practice good health habits.  
 
If you have specific questions about COVID-19, please dial 2-1-1 to speak with an expert.  
 
For folks JFGH supports, we are a critical set of eyes and ears, and we should take a very conservative approach to both prevention and, should it be needed, treatment and response. CMS and the CDC provide strategies to prevent infection here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/prevent-spread-in-long-term-care-facilities.html .
From Jubilee (this flowchart below offers straightforward guidance to all of us!):
For staff traveling internationally:
Anyone who travels or stop over to countries below (CDC recommendation)
Stay home for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) and practice social distancing (this means staying away from others).
 
Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:
  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  2. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  3. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  4. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).