County health authorities offer tips on preparing for coronavirus


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SAN DIEGO — San Diego County’s health authorities are providing information to help residents, businesses and organizations to prepare should the new coronavirus be detected in the region.

“It’s important for everyone to educate themselves and their family and be prepared in case the new coronavirus makes its way to San Diego County,” said Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors, in a news conference March 4. “It’s also important for people not to panic as the risk for this new virus and the disease that it causes continues to be low.”

For his part, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy called for temporary changes to some practices at Mass to help to prevent spread of the virus.

The county’s Health and Human Services Agency has a website, updated daily, that presents a variety of information on the new virus, This website includes information on cases and investigations; how to prepare for a pandemic; how the coronavirus spreads, symptoms and prevention; resources and materials in several languages; and guidance for healthcare professionals.

Through the “CountyNewsCenter,” health authorities provide related information, such as weekly updates on the seasonal influenza. According to the latest story posted, from March 5, a total of 80 people have died from the flu this season, more than last year.

Health authorities stress that the measures to protect from the new coronavirus are the same ones to protect from the seasonal flu:

  • Wash your hands often to help protect you from germs.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available. It should contain at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then wash your hands.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
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