Health Advisory for Coronavirus - COVID-19

covid-19


 

Managing Reactions to the Coronavirus - Click here
March 10, 2020

COVID-19 / Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
March 5, 2020

The Belmont Health Department is closely monitoring information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  While the risk currently remains low in Belmont, this is a rapidly evolving health issue. The town has convened its Emergency Management Team, which consists of representatives from Health, Fire, Police, Town Administration, Facilities, and the Public Schools, to regularly meet and stay current about the virus and the situation in the United States. 

To best ensure the fair and reasonable treatment of our residents the Town will follow guidelines provided by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). 

In the FAQ below are answers to some common questions you may have about the virus and how the town is preparing to address related concerns:

Q:        What is the best way to prevent getting COVID-19?
A:         Practice personal prevention measures: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  For more suggestions see:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

Q:        What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A:         Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-10 include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.  More information about symptoms can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

Q:        What should I do if I develop a fever and respiratory illness?  
A:         If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness stay home from work and/or school.  If you are concerned, call your healthcare provider for guidance.  You healthcare provider can help you determine next steps.

Q:        Will I be alerted if Belmont residents or students have COVID-19?
A:         Confirmed COVID-19 cases will be announced by MDPH by county with the person’s gender and general age to ensure patient confidentiality.  No personal information will be shared publicly by Town officials. 

Q:        What should I do if I am traveling to/returning from another country?
A:         It depends on the country of travel to/from.  CDC recommendation for travel is changing daily.   You should check the CDC Travel Information webpage frequently: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

The Belmont Health Department is following guidance from the MDPH and is asking returning travelers from Level 3 countries (currently China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea) to self-quarantine (“stay home”) for 14 days from the date of entry to the United States and to self-monitor for symptoms consistent for COVID-19.

MDPH will not be providing local health departments with traveler information on returnees from Italy and South Korea.
Returning travelers from Level 2 countries (currently Japan) are asked to limit contact with others and to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

Additional information about MDPH guidance regarding travel can be found here:
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/travel-information-related-to-covid-19

If you have questions about your particular situation, you are encouraged to contact the Belmont Health Department

UPDATED TRAVEL ADVISORY - MARCH 4, 2020

Health Advisory for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
February 27, 2020

PDF LINK HERE

The Belmont Health Department is sharing updated information with the community to help keep it informed about the emerging global health concern, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a new strain of Coronavirus that may cause respiratory illness in some people.

The Belmont Health Department continues to monitor the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).  Belmont Health Department staff is in regular contact with MDPH and has been informed that the risk for COVID-19 in continues to remain LOW with one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.  

At this time the Belmont Health Department is following public health guidance provided by the CDC and MDPH, which may include the monitoring of individuals who may be quarantined at home as needed.  Town officials will continue to monitor the situation and implement CDC and MDPH guidance at the local level. As this situation continues to evolve, if any special instructions are provided, the Belmont Health Department will communicate them to the community.

Here are some things you can do:

Keep yourself and others healthy

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash

Know the facts (and help prevent the spread of rumors)

  • Be sure you are using a reliable source for your information
  • CDC updates its website frequently with information and guidance about COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/nCoV
  • CDC continues to provide updates for travelers at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
  • MDPH provides regular updates for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: https://www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus 
  • The Belmont Health Department will post community wide advisories on the Town of Belmont’s home page if there is a change in risk level: 
    www.belmont-ma.gov
  • Face masks are not recommended for the general public at this time.
    • Face masks can be useful in some settings, such as a clinic waiting room, to prevent someone who has a respiratory illness from spreading it to others. 
  • Cancelling public events is not currently recommended as the risk for COVID-19 remains LOW in Massachusetts. 

Please continue to remain calm and open-minded 

  • History has seen many instances of societies excluding, blaming, or devaluing those feared to have an unfamiliar disease. Recent examples include Ebola, HIV, and past influenza pandemics where fear led to stigma and discrimination.  In many instances, the discriminatory actions caused the health problems to worsen as those who felt alienated avoided seeking out health care and information they needed. We encourage you to continue to remain calm.

Questions?

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.  When calling 911, please remember to notify dispatch of any possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposures.

You should contact your healthcare provider for all medical and health related concerns. 

All other questions may be directed to the Belmont Health Department at (617) 993-2720.