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City News / Press Releases

Posted on: March 1, 2020

Know the Facts about Coronavirus; Risk of Exposure Remains Low

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a new respiratory virus and there are no treatments for it. However, according to recent posts from Public Health – Seattle and King County (PHSKC) health officer, Dr. Jeff Duchin, most people will recover on their own, but some people can develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.

The PHSKC, Washington State Department of Health (DOH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are in collaboration with federal and state agencies and local health departments to monitor local risks to the coronavirus to ensure the safety of all community members. These agencies are providing updates to North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland and City staff. 

According to the CDC, the risk of exposure to the general public remains low. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic, which is defined as a new virus that spreads readily to many countries around the world.

Current risk assessment:

For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.

People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure.

Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.

Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.

Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.

How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19? 

Symptoms of coronavirus primarily include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. There are no medications specifically approved for COVID-19. Most people with mild COVID-19 illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications. However, some cases develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.

Coronavirus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via coughs or sneezes. It may also spread by touching a surface or object with the virus on it. 

People are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest, though some spread is possible before people show symptoms.

Prevention starts with practicing good personal health habits: stay home when you’re sick, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, wash your hands often with soap and water, and clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.

Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods, and managing your stress may help you prevent getting coronavirus and recover from it if you do.

Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. 

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

For ongoing updates and resources, visit the COVID-19 website at www.kingcounty.gov/COVID and subscribe to the Public Health Insider blog at https://publichealthinsider.com/. North Bend residents are encouraged to stay informed and check these additional sites for the most recent, accurate updates:

Seattle King County Public Health

Washington State Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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