March 04, 2020 Update: The Town of Trophy Club has been receiving several requests for information and questions of curiosity on the official extent of the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) in Texas and the preparations for TC as a governmental entity. Below is a review of Town staffs’ actions and preparations thus far.
What is TC doing?
The Fire Department has been working with the Medical Control, Denton County Emergency Management and the Denton and Tarrant County Health Department to keep informed of the status of the situation here in the TC area. County Health Officials are treating this situation seriously and have pledged to notify cities and towns if one of their residents is suspected of being exposed and under quarantine. At this time there have been 80 suspected exposures, quarantines, in Texas with 60 of the test result coming back negative and the remaining 20 still waiting on test results and in quarantine. None of these 20 cases are in the DFW area. Medical Control Doctors are working with EMS on safe practices to ensure the safety of EMS personnel and are working with local hospitals to set up procedures in the event of a suspected patient and/or exposures. TC EMS personnel have the necessary safety equipment and have been trained appropriately and have been given screening questions for those patients that show symptoms of the virus which will enact notifications and procedures as directed by County Health Departments and the CDC. Finally, the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council (NCTTRAC) has put together a 2 Emergency Medical Task Force consisting of 4 infectious Disease Response Unit RNs, 2 Infection Disease Response Unit Paramedics and 1 physician, ready to deploy to any area hospital that has a suspected case or exposure.
Recap about the Virus.
Below is some information I gathered from the Department of State Health Services, the CDC, the County Health Departments, and Texas Emergency Management. The short story is that Covid-19 is a highly communicable disease with very minor health concerns other than to the very young, older populations and those with decreased immune response. Symptoms of the disease are very much like a weak flu and the management of symptoms is all that is necessary. Due to the high communicability of the disease, we are seeing a greater effect in countries with lower levels of health services. The likelihood is that we will see more people in the US with the disease and if so we could see an effect on our daily lives in the areas of full hospitals, decrease attendance to schools and daycares, slower supply chains in businesses and some increased prices in our goods due to decreased availability and slower delivery of goods. All this being said there is no real danger to most of the TC citizens’ health or the operations here in the Town at this time. Staff will continue to monitor the situation closely for changes.
- The number of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is now more than 95,000:
- Globally, 95,120 cases are now reported, most in China. The virus has spread outside Mainland China,
including 80 other countries/regions.
- A total of 3,254 deaths have been reported. The death toll has surpassed the 2003-2004 SARS outbreak totals.
There are 80 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 443 Persons under Investigation (PUI) in 42 states. Texas has 90 PUI; 40 are pending results from the CDC. Risk in Texas remains low as COVID-19 is not currently spreading in Texas or the U.S. There are currently 300 Persons under Monitoring (PUM) in Texas.
Current risk assessment from the CDC:
- For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
- People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure.
- Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.
What May Happen
- More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in communities in the United States. It’s likely that at some point, widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur.
- Widespread transmission of COVID-19 would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected. Health care providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it. Nonpharmaceutical interventions would be the most important response strategy.
For more information please visit any of the following sites:
February 29, 2020 Update: This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC is providing updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance. At this time, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States as of now. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment will be updated as needed.
- Situation in U.S. related to COVID-19:
- Imported cases of COVID-19 in travelers have been detected in the U.S.
- Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 was first reported among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan.
- During the week of February 23, CDC reported community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California (in two places), Oregon and Washington. Community spread in Washington resulted in the first death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case of COVID-19 in a health care worker, and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.
- Situation in U.S. related to travel:
- On February 29, the U.S. government announced it was suspending entry of foreign nationals who have been in Iran within the past 14 days.
- CDC has issued the following travel guidance related to COVID-19:
- China — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated February 22;
- Hong Kong — Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions — issued February 19;
- Iran — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated February 28;
- Italy — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated February 28;
- Japan — Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions — updated February 22;
- South Korea — Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel — updated February 24.
- CDC also recommends that all travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages into or within Asia at this time.
The CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses and stay up to date with information from the CDC here.
February 03, 2020 Update: As of today Feb 3, 2020, the CDC has added DFW airport to the traveler screening program for incoming travelers from China. DFW is among 11 such airport locations across the US. Due to a Federal order on Friday, all travel to and from China is suspended with airlines canceling flights. We expect only US Citizens and Legal US residents being evacuated from China to return. The volume at DFW is expected to be low.
The Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic in china has advanced, with a significant increase in people infected:
- Globally, 19,881 cases have now been confirmed, most in China. The virus has spread to 26 locations outside Mainland China, including 24 other countries.
- A total of 426 deaths have been reported with only 1 occurring outside of China.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this 2019-nCoV outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. U.S. Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency.
In the U.S., there are 260 PUIs in 36 states; of that number, 167 tested negative and 82 are still pending.
Texas has had 15 PUI, 10 have tested negative and five are pending results from CDC. There are no confirmed cases in Texas.
Travel recommendation is now at Level 4: Do not travel to China. CDC will provide guidance for quarantine and monitoring of persons on their website today.
Tarrant County Public Health’s Department Operations Center remains activated. The Public Health team maintains regular contact with DSHS, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), school districts, hospitals and emergency management staff from across the county.
MORE INFORMATION HERE. Information is continually updated on the public health website: TCPH Coronavirus. The Corona Virus Hotline (817) 248-6299 has been activated to handle calls from the public.
February 01, 2020 Update: We have been hearing about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for the last two weeks, Interim Fire Chief Gary Cochran stated "I want to assure all citizens that we are receiving multiple updates weekly from the CDC, Healthcare Coalition, and the Fire Department Medical Director, who have all confirmed that at this time, we do not have any confirmed cases in Texas. As many of our citizens are pilots, flight attendants, or in the airline business in some capacity and may have traveled to China within the last two weeks for their jobs, the fire department has not responded to any medical calls related to the Coronavirus."
With that said, it is paramount for everyone to follow the recommended hygiene procedures recommended by the CDC:
- Wash hands thoroughly and often, at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitizer w/ at least 60% alcohol if the soap is not available
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
If there are any concerns or potential signs or symptoms anyone may have, please contact the Texas Department State Health Services, NCTTRAC, or your family physician with questions.
January 28, 2020: A new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was recently detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The 2019-nCoV outbreak began in December 2019, and Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of 2019‑nCoV infections in China, including several that resulted in death. Several additional countries have identified cases of 2019-nCoV infection including the United States. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on monitoring the developing outbreak of 2019-nCoV.
How do people become infected with 2019-nCoV?
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
- Rarely, fecal contamination.
It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person to person. Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China had some link to large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV, and investigations are ongoing.
What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?
Patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS coronaviruses.
How can I avoid infection with 2019-nCoV?
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What do I do if I think I may be infected with 2019-nCoV?
If you have recently traveled or been exposed to someone who traveled to or from Wuhan, China and are experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider. Be sure to call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.
Information for Travelers
Currently, the CDC has issued a Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel to Wuhan, China. See the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website for the latest information: CLICK HERE
SOURCE: Texas Health and Human Services - Texas Department of State Health Services