Public Information Dissemination: COVID-19 Preparedness
Southampton Township Officials, in cooperation with county, state and federal resources, wish to let our residents know that preparedness efforts for potential transmission of Novel Coronavirus 2019, officially known as “COVID-19”, are in progress. Please review this information to prepare you and your families for any disruptions which may be caused by a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Southampton or in NJ, but cases are being reported around the U.S. daily, and preparing for what is considered a likely outbreak here is prudent and advisable.
GETTING THE VIRUS
COVID-19 is a new strain of virus originating in China that is now spreading quickly throughout the world. As a new strain, there is no natural human resistance which is contributing to the rapid spread. Therefore, it is crucial to take steps to minimize your risk of spreading the disease.
Transmission of the virus is thought to be primarily through:
- Close personal contact with an infected person, and;
- Exposure to droplets expelled from an infected person coughing
- There may also be cases where coming in contact with contaminated objects or surfaces causes infection.
- The best ways to avoid exposure are to:
- Avoid close gatherings of large groups of people
- Maintain 6 foot separation from persons exhibiting symptoms of illness
- Frequent and vigorous washing of hands with soap/water and/or sanitizing gel.
The Centers for Disease Control advises against the use of face masks by healthy persons unless providing direct care to a sick individual.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
If you believe you were exposed to the virus and begin feeling sick with any of these symptoms, you should self-quarantine at home and not attend work or school:
- Fever > 100°F
- Dry, non-productive cough
- Shortness of Breath
Contact your healthcare provider for further medical advice before going to the Emergency Room or other healthcare facility to reduce the possibility of further transmission.
There is currently no vaccine or medication treatment for COVID-19. Treatment is supportive only until the person recovers.
The most important actions to take during this event it to ready you and your family for a potential disruption of daily life by following some simple steps and prepare for an outbreak:
- The risk to NJ residents is currently LOW; keeping calm and using good judgement will go far in helping to properly prepare for any escalation of the outbreak.
- Make a plan to be self-sufficient for up to weeks in case you or someone in your family shows symptoms of illness. Self-Quarantine can last up to 2 weeks – have enough food, medicine and supplies to last for that period.
- Find out what provisions your employer has made if you have to remain at home – tele-commuting, remote access – and cannot attend work.
- Plan for sudden school closings, including before- and after-school care and activities. Have alternate ways of caring for children staying at home, and prevent gatherings of children which could help spread the virus.
- Plan for seniors enrolled in senior daycare to remain at home with a caregiver if daycares are closed.
- Review hygiene practices with family members at home – hand washing is the best defense. Minimum of 30 seconds with hot, soapy water (sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice). Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or into a sleeve, not hands. Clean and disinfect surfaces with appropriate cleaners.
- Make and maintain electronic copies of health, medical and medication records
- Plan for a sick room in your home for a sick family member, preferably with a bathroom, to isolate them from other well family members.
- For additional planning tips, visit https://www.nj.gov/njoem/plan-prepare/pandemic-influenza.shtml
The NJ Dept. for Health has setup a hotline to answer questions from the public about COVID-19. It is open 24/7 and available in multiple languages. Call 1-800-222-1222.
For the latest info online:
Are you registered with NIXLE to receive timely emergency notification from Southampton Twp.? If not, sign up your phone by texting “08088” to 888777.