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Coronavirus and What Township Officials Need to Know

Friday March 6th, 2020

Stories and information about coronavirus have dominated the news, social media, and likely conversations around the township office for weeks. Township officials can play a role as local leaders to help ensure that residents receive accurate information and practice healthy habits at meetings, community events and facilities, and at the municipal building.

First, the facts. As of today, March 6, 2020, there are two (2) presumptive positive cases in Pennsylvania for the latest coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), based on what is currently known, COVID-19 is spread from person to person, similar to the common cold or influenza.

The CDC website states that for the general American public — such as workers in non-healthcare settings and where it is unlikely that work tasks create an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 — the immediate health risk is considered low. The severity of illness or how many people in the commonwealth or the U.S. will fall ill from COVID-19 is unknown at this time.

The CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health both emphasize that the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to practice these good health habits:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

Townships should also practice this in their facilities and at meetings/community events. The CDC also recommends:

  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including electronics and equipment.
  • Ensure bathrooms are supplied adequately with soap, water, and drying materials so visitors and staff can wash their hands.
  • Provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for use.

The CDC also has resources for emergency medical services workers responding to requests for assistance, and providing treatment and transport for ill persons, as well as for law enforcement who may come into contact with individuals confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.

We direct your attention to  Main COVID-19 Page.  To stay up to date, please visit the Pa. Department of HealthCDC, and World Health Organization websites for detailed information.