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Posted on: March 3, 2020

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

CORONAVIRUS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/03/2020
For further information, contact:
Kelly McFalls
Public Information Officer & Webmaster
kmcfalls@framinghamma.gov
508-532-5437

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Reminds Everyone to be Vigilant against all Respiratory Viruses like Coronavirus and the Flu

Framingham - The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been a point of discussion worldwide, including the City of Framingham. Yesterday afternoon, Framingham received an email from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), reminding people to be vigilant against all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and the flu.

While Massachusetts continues to prepare for the potential outbreak of the novel virus, the risk of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth is low; in contrast, the risk of flu is high. To date, there has been one confirmed and one "presumptive" case of COVID-19 in Massachusetts; there have been more than 30,000 confirmed cases of the flu.

The DPH staff has been in constant contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners have launched a site that includes extensive information and is a "source of truth" at mass.gov/2019coronavirus. The site includes resources and fact sheets translated in multiple languages that can be printed and shared.

Framingham’s role when it comes to an infectious disease ranges from communication; monitoring those in isolation, quarantine, and social distancing situations; making decisions about closures and/or cancelations; and helping people facing disruptions in their lives. The City also focuses on the continuity of critical City operations.

The Framingham Department of Health follows public health guidance provided by the CDC and DPH. As the City receives additional information, residents can find updates on the website, Facebook, and Twitter - @Framingham_MA. If there is an urgent update, the City will employ the City’s "Alert Framingham" system, otherwise known as reverse 911. To sign up for the City’s reverse 911 system, please go here: https://www.smart911.com/

According to the CDC’s limited data for COVID-19 infected patients, older adults and persons who have underlying chronic medical conditions, such as immunocompromising conditions, may be at risk for more severe outcomes from the novel virus. It is vital that Framingham’s older adults and those with underlying medical conditions be especially careful.

Simple precautions will help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses:

- If you have a fever or feel sick, stay home and call your healthcare provider
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, using a tissue or the inside of your elbow
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water frequently and use hand sanitizer
- Get the flu vaccine – it is not too late! Find more information on the flu and where to get a flu vaccine here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/what-should-i-know-about-flu

Stay informed by visiting both the MDPH and CDC websites. To prepare for potential community spread of COVID-19, please think about your own personal preparedness and visit the DPH website to learn more about developing a plan for you and your family.
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