Coronavirus (COVID-19) Press Release
Although the risk of exposure in the City of Leominster is very low, people should be aware of how to minimize their risk of contracting this illness and the current strain of Influenza in this area.
COVID-19 is spread in the same way that other Influenza viruses moves through a population. People sneezing or coughing produce a spray of droplets that can be inhaled or absorbed by the eyes, nose or mouth. Droplets that fall on surfaces can be transferred to these body parts by touching. The virus can remain viable for up to 9 days on surfaces, so frequent sanitizing of surfaces is required.
If the virus becomes widespread, people will be instructed to adhere to the following protocols to reduce their risks of contracting the illness:
- Remain calm, and keep yourself informed by observing Health Department, MDPH and CDC bulletins. (See following links)
- Avoid large gatherings if possible.
- Frequent and thorough handwashing is the best way to reduce your risk. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds is recommended, or you can utilize hand sanitizer with at least 60-90% alcohol.
- Sneezing and coughing into your elbow or into a tissue that is properly disposed of is another method of containing the virus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as you can pick up the virus that way.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects like doorknobs and countertops. Evidence suggests that disinfectants with 62% to 71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (bleach) can "efficiently" inactivate coronaviruses within one minute.
- If necessary, people may be asked to remain in their homes except for essential needs. Limiting access to anyone who is infected and contagious is the best way to stem and eventually stop the virus.
- Stay healthy by getting adequate sleep and rest, manage stress, eat healthy and continue to exercise.
- Plan for the possible disruption of services. This is especially important if someone in your family has special medical needs. Make sure you have a way to fill prescriptions or to receive oxygen tank refills or other medical items if someone in the home is ill.
- Speak with your employer about working from home and the sick leave policies.
- Schools may be closed in your area during an outbreak. Ask your child's school or local school board about how much advance notice there might be preceding a closure. Plan for how you will handle childcare if schools and day care centers are closed
- Speak with your neighbors and your family members about helping each other in case a household becomes infected.
- Plan for how to care for those at greater risk of serious illness and hospitalization, such as those over 65 years old and those with preexisting health conditions.
- Plan for who will care for your dependents if you get sick, personally.
- Make a list of contact information including your physician, your place of employment, pharmacies and family members.
- Do not hoard, but it is wise to store two weeks' worth of food, water and medicine.
- If any epidemic calls for mass treatment, the Leominster Board of Health and the Leominster Emergency Management Agency have a comprehensive plan to treat all City of Leominster residents. People will be instructed to report to a location by Wards for inoculations or administration of oral medicine.
For more information on COVID-19, please refer to the following links:
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens
- Massachusetts Government on COVID-19
- Leominster Health Department