While much of the information about those diagnosed either positively or presumptively is covered by the HIPAA Act, we are getting information about numbers and cases in the area. The City of Shenandoah staff and Council are actively involved in the monitoring of the virus as it applies to the state of Texas, the county of Montgomery and the city of Shenandoah. While much of the information about those diagnosed either positively or presumptively is covered by the HIPAA Act, we are getting information about numbers and cases in the area.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person-to-person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel, or new, coronavirus first identified in an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, primarily in people who are in close contact (usually within 6 feet) with someone who has the virus. Most contact is through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can also be infected if they come into contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touch their own mouth, nose or eyes.
What are the symptoms?
Most patients have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: fever, cough, shortness of breath. Some patients may suffer severe complications with the virus such as pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases, death. Young children, the elderly and persons with low auto-immune systems are most likely to be impacted more severely.
What are active or presumptive cases?
Active cases have tested positive for the virus. This means both a local test and a confirmation from the CDC have been received. Presumptive tests have not been positively confirmed by the CDC but, due to the conditions of screening, appear to be the virus. Those screening protocols include symptoms of the virus as well as exposure in countries where the virus has been confirmed such as China, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Italy and South Korea.
How can you limit your chances of becoming infected?
Avoid close contact with those who are sick. Avoid touching your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 10-20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
What if you get sick?
STAY HOME. If you have symptoms, do not go to work, school or areas in which you will come into contact with others. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissues away in the trash. Do not cough or sneeze in your sleeves as the germ can remain there for several days. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like door handles, counters which people may touch, telephones, cell phones, steering wheels and desks. Don’t share drinks or food.
What should you do if you have traveled in an area with COVID-19 cases?
Consider 2 weeks as an isolation period. If you develop symptoms during that time, such as fever, cough, or have trouble breathing, seek medical advice. Do not just show up at your doctor’s office or local hospital. Call before you go and discuss your travel and symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing others. Don’t go out into the public while sick, avoid close contact, delay any travel and reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.
Take precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the same way you would with any other illness:
- Hygiene – wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer; avoid touching your face, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands
- Disinfect – clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Avoid Contact – avoid contact with people you know are sick; avoid crowds
- Symptoms – stay home if you are sick, except to seek medical care
- Limit Travel – avoid traveling as much as possible, especially to areas with known cases of COVID-19
Montgomery County Public Health District
Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Harris County Public Health District
Harris County Office of Emergency Management
Texas Department of State Health Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Wash You Hands (PDF)
COVID-19 Response (PDF)
COVID-19 Information Flyer (PDF)