Guidance on Coronavirus Release
Denver Public Health & Environment Releases Guidance and Fact Sheet
The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DPHE) and the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have received multiple inquiries this week regarding the City’s preparedness efforts for the COVID-19 virus (aka Coronavirus). While Coronavirus has become top of the browser news in the past several days due to the impacts we are now seeing on our national economy as well as the recent warnings from the CDC that its “not if, but when” we have Coronavirus in our community, Coronavirus monitoring and preparation efforts have been underway within the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado since mid-January. However, its important to keep in mind that there have been no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Colorado to date.
These efforts, led by DPHE with support from OEM, DEN, Denver Health, and others include ongoing monitoring and investigation of potential Coronavirus cases, coordination calls with the CDC and State of Colorado, and protective measures guidelines for employees.
Please see below and attached (word doc) for updated information that details facts and guidance on Coronavirus. Also attached is a transcription of the full interview with DDPHE ED Bob McDonald on How Denver has prepared for possible coronavirus outbreak that aired on 9News last night.
CORONAVIRUS GUIDANCE AND FACT SHEET
Prepared by Denver Public Health & Environment, February 27, 2020
Currently, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment is coordinating with other local public health agencies, the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to ensure accurate information is provided to the public, healthcare and other service providers, and Denver International Airport staff and visitors. We are relying on plans already in place for identifying, responding to, and isolating possible COVID-19 cases within Denver to reduce our risk of a local outbreak.
DDPHE is working with city leadership to ensure that other social distancing measures would be implemented if we see a local outbreak with community transmission, such as limiting large gatherings and encouraging employers to allow for teleworking whenever possible. Clearly, we are not there yet.
DDPHE continues to encourage people to follow the same guidance we all know for reducing your risk of getting any respiratory virus: wash your hands frequently—particularly before eating, touching your mouth, nose or eyes, stay home from work or school when you are sick, and clean high-touch surfaces frequently. More specific preventative guidance is detailed below.
Most importantly, please note the current risk of transmission of the Novel Coronavirus to the public and the first responder community in Denver is low at this time.
Below please find the interim preventative guidance we have received thus far from the CDC and the state health department related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as novel coronavirus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The precautions above are even more important when travelling. It’s also important to be aware of the CDC’s current travel advisories:
- Avoid all nonessential travel to China and South Korea.
- Take precautions when traveling to avoid contact with sick people or consider canceling nonessential trips to Iran, Italy and Japan.
Additional resources specific to our local response can be found at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
§ Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as doorknobs, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, body fluids, and/or secretions or excretions on them.
§ Cleaning Solutions:
o Use household disinfectant with a label that says “EPA-approved.”
o Use a diluted bleach solution - To make a bleach solution, add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) of water. For a larger supply, add ¼ cup of bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
Questions: For general questions, the public can call CO HELP at 1-877-462-2911 to connect with a local public health representative.