Special to The Dallas Examiner
According to the mayor’s office, Dallas County has no known cases of the coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, as of March 4 – when he convened a meeting with the leaders of nearly all of the hospitals, colleges, transportation agencies and school districts that serve the county.
Though the disease has not spread to the city, Mayor Eric Johnson stated that Dallas must plan as if it will, as it has done in other cities throughout the world – including Frisco, where officials announced a 30-year-old man has tested positive, passing it along to his wife and -year-old, who is one of four children.
He said the purpose of the meeting was to establish open lines of communication now, before any cases arise.
Agencies attending the meeting included the city of Dallas, DFW International Airport, Parkland Memorial Hospital, DART, Southern Methodist University, the Dallas County Community College District, the Dallas Regional Chamber, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, Dallas ISD and Richardson ISD.
“After hearing all the parties discuss their preparations and concerns, I remain confident that we will be ready to deal with coronavirus if it comes to Dallas,” Johnson expressed.
There is much about COVID-19 that health officials are unsure of or still don’t know. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has observed that the virus seems to spread easily and sustainably within a community. At this time, it is thought that the disease is mostly spread through person-to-person contact – people within six feet of each other or through droplets from coughing or sneezing.
Officials believe it may be possible to pick up the virus from the surface or an object that was touched by an infected person, then touching one’s own eyes, mouth or nose – though not typical.
There is currently no vaccination for COVID-19. But the CDC recommends taking the following actions daily to prevent contracting the disease:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating; after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
Note: If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Note: The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Anyone who thinks they may have contracted the disease or come in contact with an infected person should contact their health care professional immediately.