Fri., Mar. 6, 2020 – Waco, TX – The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District would like to keep our community updated on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. As of the time that this email was sent, the information being reported below is current however could change over the next few hours, or days until the next update.
PLEASE REVIEW THIS MESSAGE IN ITS ENTIRETY. A link to some guidance regarding planning and responding to a potential outbreak for businesses and employers is included at the bottom.
Main key Points:
The Waco-McLennan County Public Health Department (WMCPHD) has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation. Due to recent spread of the disease to other areas outside of China, we wanted to ensure you had some current information available at your fingertips. If you or someone else has had recent travel to any of the affected international locations in the past 14 days AND is/are exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath OR has come in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, please call 254-750-1890.
- The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States. Individual risk is dependent on exposure.
- Under current circumstances, certain people will
have an increased risk of infection. For example:
- 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.
Current Case Counts:
Disclaimer: *Note for case counts – We are reporting case counts from the CDC website. Due to increasing testing capacity at State and local labs around the country, the count may be lower than the numbers reported by media.
|Worldwide Case Counts:|
|Total Confirmed: 97,885|
|Total recovered: 53,786|
|Total deaths: 3,348|
|US Case Counts: There are two buckets of classification of US cases being reported:|
|Travelers from affected areas + person to person spread||Repatriation of US citizens (from cruise ships or affected areas)|
|30 travel related||3 from Wuhan, China|
|20 person to person spread||46 from Diamond Princess cruise|
|49 under investigation|
|Totals: 99||Totals: 49|
|Total US Deaths: 11|
|Texas Case Counts:|
|Travel-Related: 3||Repatriated: 12|
|*It is important to note that 12 of these were all repatriated and remained in quarantine since entering the US. This means they have had zero contact with the general populace since returning to the U.S. with the exception of one who remains now in isolation. The likelihood of spread from these positive cases is highly unlikely. **The additional cases were detected in Ft. Bend County and Harris County, both classified in the travel related bucket and are currently isolated.|
|McLennan County Case Counts:|
Individuals can prevent exposure to COVID-19 simply by following the same process that we use for influenza prevention:
- 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 with 60-95% alcohol.
- 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 a lined trashcan.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with EPA certified household cleaners.
Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Actions:
The Waco-McLennan County Public Health Districtis working closely with community partners, including healthcare organizations to respond to this public health threat.
The public health response is multi-layered, with the goal of detecting and minimizing introductions of this virus in McLennan County to reduce the spread and the impact of this virus.
Here are some links that you will find beneficial:
Courtney Restivo Wollard, MPH, B.S.Ed
Public Health Planner
Public Health Emergency Preparedness
Waco-McLennan County Public Health District