• Handwashing Best Protection Against Coronavirus

  • Handwashing Best Protection Against Coronavirus
    Neosho, Mo. – Increasing media coverage of the coronavirus outbreak that began in China is creating some fear in our community. At the Newton County Health Department, we understand that you are concerned about the new coronavirus and have questions about how to protect yourself and your family. Here is what you need to know.

    The new coronavirus, also called COVID-19, is spread person-person through respiratory droplets when a person who is sick coughs and sneezes.  At this time, 49 states have had a least one case of COVID-19.  Right now, Missouri has 6 cases and Newton County has had no cases reported.  Most of the cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. have been among people with recent travel to areas with COVID-19 outbreaks but there are some places in the US that have community spread.

    Because COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus, there is no vaccine yet to protect against it and our bodies do not have immunity to it.   Facemasks do not need to be worn by well people.  They are only intended for sick people to wear to reduce the chance of spreading germs when they cough or sneeze.  But there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
    • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.
    • Keep a distance of 6 feet from people who are sick.
    • People that are 65 and older and people with chronic health conditions are at greatest risk for severe illness and should avoid public gatherings. 
    In addition, CDC has recommended that public gatherings of greater than 50 people be cancelled/postponed for the next 8 weeks due to increased chance of exposure and spread of COVID-19.  Missouri Governor Parsons has also expressed support of this recommendation statewide.  Most organizations are cancelling/postponing area events that have been scheduled.  Some universities and public schools have closed or extended Spring Break to help reduce the chance of infection at this time. 

    It is very important that everyone in our community stay home when sick. Going to work or school or out in the community when sick, puts other people at risk for illness.  The best way to protect our whole community is for people who are sick to stay home.   People need to do their part and stay home when ill.  If you need medical attention, please call ahead and tell them you are needing care.  Please do not show up unannounced.

     Again washing your hands often, not touching your face with unwashed hands, and keeping a distance from people who are sick are simple steps that can be taken to help protect yourself from illness.  These are the most important things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and our whole community.

    Learn more at www.newtoncountyhealth.org or follow us on Facebook-Newton County Health Department.