Systemwide Coronavirus Update for March 2, 2020
The Coronavirus Disease is present in Washington State and several deaths have been reported in the Seattle area. All victims were already infirm. This new virus will likely spread. The situation statewide will likely become worse before it gets better, but we agree with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that now is the time for preparation, not panic.
We're currently working on a plan for how to continue to operate and conduct business should the outbreak become more severe and we're required to reduce or restrict our employees from their normal work locations. We'll have more information and specific instructions on this very soon.
In the meantime, don't panic. DO practice these universal healthcare methods to stop the spread of germs:
- Stay away. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough with a tissue, NOT your hand. Throw the tissue in the trash.
- Don't touch your face. Make a conscious effort not to touch your face with your unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds — that's about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday. The disease enters your body when your contaminated hands touch your nose and mouth. Keep hands clean and below chin for safety.
- Use hand sanitizer. Commercial hand sanitizer also works for killing germs, but it must have an alcohol content of at least 65%. Check to be sure yours does.
- Disinfect. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces and objects.
- Stay home when you're sick. If you experience flu systems, especially if you've been in an area where Coronavirus is present (i.e. Seattle), first call your healthcare provider, who can give you instructions to prevent others from becoming exposed.
- Face masks are optional. The CDC is not recommending use of the masks, unless you're sick. If you're sick, you shouldn't be at work. A mask may help you remember not to touch your face, so wear one if you prefer.
Grant PUD warehouses have inventories of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and N-95 face masks. Contact the nearest warehouse for these supplies. Masks will not be randomly distributed, unless it's part of your routine protective equipment.
For more information on the virus, itself, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Coronavirus Disease 2019" web page here.
See the attached flyer from the CDC. Print and Post in your work areas as a reminder and as you see fit.
We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed as more information becomes available and our "Continuity of Operations Plan" comes together. Working together, we'll get prepared and get through this.