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The original item was published from 3/13/2020 11:25:00 AM to 4/15/2020 12:08:17 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: March 13, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City holds meeting on coronavirus preparedness

Danville and Pittsylvania County have yet to have a confirmed case of the new coronavirus, but City of Danville department heads met Thursday to discuss their preparedness level if an outbreak develops.

Among the topics discussed was the continuation of essential operations in the event of a worker shortage from an outbreak.

“It is our responsibility to be prepared for an outbreak,” City Manager Ken Larking said at the meeting. “The City has an Emergency Operations Plan that provides guidance for how we respond during emergencies. Our citizens need to be assured that we are prepared. We will follow those plans and adjust as needed.”

All City employees have been provided with information on the health precautions to avoid the spread of the new virus, termed COVID-19. Hand-sanitizing stations have been installed throughout various public buildings, and the City has stepped up its routine for sanitizing high traffic areas.

Also, employees have been instructed to stay at home when sick.

Department heads were joined at Thursday’s meeting by representatives from Pittsylvania County, SOVAH Health, Danville Public Schools, the Danville Life Saving Crew and other first responders.

Emergency management protocols and public information coordination were among the other topics discussed.

The meeting followed a briefing by Pittsylvania-Danville Health District officials, who said the health risk of COVID-19 remains low. They reported that they are working closely with the hospital and other community partners.

The City will continue to hold meetings on at least a weekly basis to stay current on the evolving situation and ensure that our community is prepared to respond, if needed.

Safety measures:

The Virginia Department of Health provides the following advice to help prevent respiratory illnesses of any kind, including COVID-19, year-round:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands, especially after coughing and sneezing, before and after caring for an ill person, and before preparing foods and before eating.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact (such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils) with people who are sick. Close contact is considered being within six (6) feet of someone who is ill for 15 minutes or more.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except when you need to get medical care. If you seek medical attention, call your doctor’s office or medical facility before you go.

The CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. 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).

How can I learn more about COVID-19?

If you have concerns that you may be sick from COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health advises that you contact your healthcare provider.

Visit the City of Danville’s COVID-19 website:  http://www.danvilleva.gov/coronavirus

Visit the Virginia Department of Health website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Visit the World Health Organization website: https://www.who.int/

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