|Dear Friends and Neighbors,|
Responding to questions from the public and media, the Westchester County Department of Health wants to reassure residents that there are no known cases of the novel coronavirus in Westchester and the risk to the general public remains low.
There are seven types of coronaviruses. Most cause respiratory symptoms similar to the common cold, with mild to moderate illness, such as coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1. These four types of coronavirus are quite common and not worrisome.
Only SARS, MERS and novel coronavirus frequently cause severe illness.
It is important to know that if there were a case, residents would hear about it from the County Health Department.
Testing for this new type of coronavirus cannot be performed without the cooperation of both the County and State Department of Health, and both departments would be involved in notifying the public and limiting the spread of the illness.
With this new coronavirus now declared a public health emergency of international concern, it is understandable that residents may be wary.
However, there is no reason for people without symptoms to stay home from work or school, or to cancel events.As always, the best way to avoid viruses during cold and flu season is:Avoid exposure – Avoid close contact with people who are sick with fever and cough.
Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.If someone in your home is sick, clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as door knobs and faucet handles with a bleach solution. This is especially helpful during flu season, and any time.And of course, get a flu shot if you have not already done so.
Stay home when you are ill to avoid exposing others.For more information about novel coronavirus, go to www.westchestergov.com/health.Sincerely,