COVID-19 is the new strain of coronavirus that is sweeping the nation.
There are many different strains of coronavirus, including the common cold. One of the biggest challenges of COVID-19 is that currently, there is no vaccine for the disease. Symptoms for COVID-19 include fever, respiratory symptoms similar to the cold and flu, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The best way to protect yourself is to prevent exposure.
The virus is thought to spread primarily from person to person, especially those who are within six feet of one another, from droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Those who are at the highest risk from this outbreak are those age 60 and older and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes.
To protect yourself, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If that is not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
To protect others from COVID-19, stay home when you are sick and call a doctor. If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Discard any used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands. If you are sick, wear a mask if one is available, especially around other people in waiting rooms and when riding in a vehicle or using public transportation.
The Jackson Township Division of Fire maintains a constant state of readiness and has prepared ahead of time for events like the COVID-19 pandemic. We have the resources and reserve supplies to operate at full capacity during this outbreak, and you should not experience any decrease in service.
We have experienced similar outbreaks in the past with H1N1, SARS and the Ebola virus and are prepared to manage public health outbreaks and emergencies. We are working closely with Franklin County Public Health and the Center for Disease Control to stay updated and informed on COVID-19.
We have postponed any public education, outreach and visitations at our fire stations to prevent spreading the virus. While we will still treat medical emergencies at our stations, we encourage you to call 911 and allow us to come to you.
Ways to help
Contact your family physician as soon as symptoms begin. Calling the doctor will assist you in getting the appropriate treatment and onto the road to recovery. If you must call 911 for an emergency, inform the dispatcher of what symptoms you are experiencing, especially if those include cough, fever, shortness of breath and headache. This information allows the firefighters and paramedics to be appropriately protected and get you to the most appropriate hospital for treatment and testing.
Jackson Township Fire Chief Randy Little can be reached at 614-875-5588.