COVID-19 VIrus Information

Posted: Mar 11, 2020, 2:28 PM

While the Louisiana Public Health Department is the lead agency on the COVID-19 virus and is already promoting local public awareness campaigns, Bossier Parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness wants to reemphasize first that no one needs to panic.

Everyone needs to be mindful that handwashing is the best practice along with cleaning and sanitizing regular touched surfaces like door knobs, handles and frames of doors.

 First responders, dispatchers, hospitals, nursing homes and school officials have been informed and updated by Louisiana Public Health and other officials that they are in the line of communication.

These groups are following standard procedures for infectious disease and other recommendations on preventative measures and actions for these types of cases. If you are sick, contact your medical health care provider for advice on medical treatment or instructions.

Following are recommendations from the CDC- Center for Disease Control. Following these suggestions could help suppress COVID-19, the flu and other Noro-type viruses.

  • Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the CDC website and, through your national and local public health authority.
  • COVID-19 is still affecting mostly people in China with some outbreaks in other countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
  • Clean your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Take steps to protect others: Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Call your medical provider ahead to get the medical advice you need before just showing up at medical facility. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough, sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
  • Clean and disinfect: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use those disinfectants appropriate for the surface.