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Coronavirus Pandemic: How to plan, prepare, and respond

Federal officials recommend storing additional supplies of food and water before a pandemic.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The World Health Organization recently declared COVID-19 a pandemic. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, there are at least 1,694 coronavirus cases in the U.S., with 33 cases in North Carolina. As of Tuesday, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of at least 41 people in the U.S. 

On Monday, The White House issued new guidelines designed to slow the rapid spread of coronavirus, asking nearly every American to stay home from work or school for the next fifteen days. In almost every aspect of daily life, America is closed for business. But, the big question is, are you prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers the following pandemic preparedness guide:

Before a Pandemic:

  • Store additional supplies of food and water. 
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

During a Pandemic:

  • Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection
  • Americans can continue to use and drink tap water as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please be sure to follow public health guidance as the situation develops.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

For more information on how to prepare and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, click here