With the new Coronavirus causing panic and more confirmed cases appearing daily, it can be difficult to know what you should do to prepare. We have a few tips to keep you prepared in case of a potential pandemic outbreak in New York City.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
The Coronavirus is a new family of virus strains that have not been previously seen in humans and can cause illness that range from the common cold/flu to more severe infections. It was first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and has been continuously spreading from person-to-person to other countries such as the United States, South Korea, Italy, and many others.
According to the CDC, this virus is spread similarly to influenza viruses through air. This occurs when respiratory droplets of an infected person, from a sneeze or cough, is inhaled by or lands on the mouth or nose of people around them.
How Will New York City Respond to the Coronavirus
Since this new virus is known to be transmitted through person-to-person contact, it is then a worry for cities with a large number of people living in it, such as New York City. In fact, NYC has just confirmed their first positive case of COVID-19, but it is important to note that it was contracted in Iran and is an isolated case.
While the United States has not yet been severely affected by the Coronavirus, with 62 confirmed cases, it is only a matter of time when more cases will start to appear. So how prepared is the U.S. for a Coronavirus outbreak and what is NYC doing to prepare?
One large step New York has taken is getting approved to test for the Coronavirus in the state rather than through the CDC. This will allow the state to not only test more people, but also have a faster turnaround rate for their results.
Unlike many other cities, New York City already has a health-care infrastructure in place to respond to a severe disease outbreak or a pandemic. It is based around staffing, supplies, space, and system.
According to the City of New York, they are also working on a local, state, and federal level to take necessary precautions. This includes screening travelers coming in and working with various Departments of Health and hospitals to set procedures for potential Coronavirus patients, as well as proper prevention and control training for hospital staff.
Prevention Tips to Stay Safe While House Shopping
Since there is no vaccine to help the prevention of Coronavirus, it is important to know how to best prevent getting sick or exposed to the virus. This is especially important if you are home or apartment hunting and attending open houses since you will be in a space where people are constantly going in and out of.
Here are a few prevention recommendations from the CDC you can start practicing now:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your face, such as your eyes, nose, mouth.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away.
- Be sure to disinfect surfaces and objects that are constantly touched. This includes things like counters, tables, door knobs, light switches, faucet handles, and drawer handles.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. For example, if you are visiting an open house or taking any form of public transportation to get there, make sure to use hand sanitizer with you until you can wash your hands.
How to Prepare Your NYC Home For a Pandemic
Although Coronavirus risk is still considered low in New York City, it can be good to be prepared for a possible worst-case scenario. This preparation includes creating a plan of action, packing an emergency kit and making sure your home is stocked up on the essentials needed.
Household Preparedness Plan
While supplies play a significant part in preparing your home for a pandemic, creating a family plan of action is just what’s needed! One thing you should keep in mind is the needs for those who might be at greater risk for complications if they contract the virus.
It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about precautions you and other family members can take as well as how to deal with a family member falling ill.
Second is to prepare a separate room and bathroom for sick family members. This will help to make sure those who are healthy will be less likely to be infected.
Third, in case of temporary school closure, plan a sitter or neighbor to help as a backup plan while you go to work. Another thing you can do is research and create a list of organizations in your community that can help with access to information, support, and resources.
Lastly, create an emergency contact list of family, friends, health care providers, etc. for your family.
What to Buy for Your Home-Quarantine Emergency Kit
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, quarantines could become more common. If you’re stuck at home for two weeks or longer, there are some supplies you would want to stock up on. By stocking up, it also helps you avoid crowds since you won’t need to go out multiple times to re-buy essentials. This can help to minimize the risk of catching the virus.
Here are a few things you should have at home:
- Medication and Health Supplies:
If you take daily prescription medications, it is important to make sure you’ll have enough supply to last a month. It can also be good to buy pain relievers, fever reducers, cold medication, and vitamins to have on hand in case you have to deal with illness at home.
- Nonperishable Foods:
If you choose to stock up on food, make sure you have enough to last a few weeks and that they’re nonperishable. You can purchase things such as canned food, dried food, crackers, etc.
- Water and Hydrating Beverages:
Another important thing is to have water and hydrating beverages. This could include drinks with electrolytes in case a family member does get sick. Having hydrating drinks can help with the cold and flu symptoms.
- Household Supplies:
This includes items like laundry detergent, bathroom supplies (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc), and diapers if you have younger children. It can also be good to have some cleaning supplies, such as alcohol, bacterial wipes, or even just soap. Since the Coronavirus has an outside lipid layer, using soap and water is effective to kill them.
While the Coronavirus outbreak has not severely hit New York City and the United States, it is important to stay informed, practice daily preventative measures, and prepare for a potential pandemic.
We hope this article helps you and your family prepare for the Coronavirus outbreak!