As Novel Coronavirus Continues to Spread Around the World, Consider Taking Preparedness Actions Now
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2020 as of 09:30 AM EST
For the first time, the number of reported new cases of COVID-19 outside of China exceeded the number of new cases inside China. There have been more than 82,000 reported infections world-wide. Despite reports earlier this week, COVID-19 continues to spread with no immediate sign of slowing.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates the current latency period (or time before an infected person presents symptoms) to be 2 -14 days. The COVID-19 latency period is one of the reasons for travel restrictions being issued across the globe. The CDC placed a Warning Level 3 on all travel to China (except Hong Kong, which is designated with a Watch Level 1) and South Korea, encouraging individuals to avoid all nonessential travel to these areas. Alert Level 2 travel restrictions are in effect for Iran, Italy, and Japan where sustained community-level transmission has increased.
Officials are already preparing for when the spread of COVID-19 begins in the United States. While the current risk to Americans is low, the CDC warns that this might change in the coming weeks. Yesterday, it was announced that California might be seeing its first case of community spread of COVID-19. The infected person did not have contact with a known patient and did not have a relevant travel history.
Johns Hopkins CSSE Coronavirus Global Cases Map, as of 2/27/2020 at 9:30 am EST: link
THE UNITED STATES PREPARES FOR COVID-19
The United States has already spent approximately $100 million in response efforts of COVID-19. The nation was also called upon by the international community to support efforts to curb the spread of the virus internationally. In preparation for a potential public health emergency within the Country, the Trump Administration asked Congress for $1.8 billion. Funding from Congress, plus an additional $500 million of reallocated funds, will be used for vaccine research, quarantine units, state-wide aid, testing, and other preparedness measures.
The CDC provides a comprehensive list of measures to protect yourself against COVID-19. Additionally, the Hagerty team has developed the following list of recommendations:
- Renew Personal Hygiene Regiments: At this time, you should consider your personal hygiene practices- increase the frequency of hand-washing; avoid touching both yours and other people’s eyes, mouth, and noses; sneeze or cough into a sleeve or tissue.
- Stock Up on Basic Supplies: Regardless of a potential disruption in supply-chains, it is important to stock your households with needed medical and other routine supplies.
- Prepare to Shelter-In-Place: COVID-19 has the potential to spread rapidly across the United States, there might be situations when it’s best for individuals and families to stay inside and avoid any uncertainty outside. To prepare for this potentiality, individuals should consider stocking their home with at least 30 days worth of supplies (e.g., food, toilet paper, water, pet supplies).
- Make Employee and Student Safety a Priority: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises businesses and schools to begin coordinating early departures/pick-up times and food, water, and non-prescription medication supplies. Employees and children should remain at home if you are sick. When possible, businesses should work with their employees to provide remote work opportunities.
- Consider the Necessity of International Travel: Current information suggests that COVID-19 is present throughout large parts of Asia, Italy, and several other countries. If you are traveling internationally, you should share your plans with the workplace and/or your educational institutions.
- Seek Medical Attention: If you become sick or experience any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, it is important that you immediately seek medical attention.
It is important to note that people with underlying health conditions, the aging population, and young children are at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19. Individuals that consider themselves in one of these categories should pay particular attention to their health and take early preventive actions. Should you or anyone else in your family fall ill, seek medical care immediately.
At Hagerty, we support business and governments with critical missions that must stay operational in good times and bad. The CDC has called on the nation to increase our preparedness for public health emergencies and COVID-19/coronavirus. When a crisis hits, it is vital for businesses and governments, big and small, to be prepared with plans for continuing operations. What are the critical elements that keep your operation moving forward? Learn more here.
From staff reductions due to illness, disruptions to supply chain, public messaging and crisis communications, or simply accommodating employees who must stay home with children if schools are dismissed, whether private-sector or public, Hagerty can help with Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning. Learn more here and contact us regarding actions you can take today.
The Hagerty Team will continue to provide information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation.
Stay Updated And Learn More
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus Situation Updates by CDC
- World Health Organization Coronavirus Information
- Live Updates on 2019-nCoV from CNN
- Providing perspective, CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report
- CDC Hospital Preparedness Checklist
- Hagerty Consulting Quarantine and Isolation Workshops
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