Safety first, what you need to know about the coronavirus COVID-19

Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, avoid touching your face to avoid the spread of the disease

SAN ANTONIO – It’s normal to feel nervous about the coronavirus, but there are some things you can do to stop the spread to keep you and your family safe.

Tips to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, use these healthy practices:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (the time it would take you to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice) or, if soap is not available.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Practice healthy habits: get sleep, eat nutritious food, drink fluids, be physically active and manage stress.

Click here for breaking news alerts over the coronavirus.

Update from city officials:

  • Anyone who is ill should not call 911.
  • Contact your doctor or give the clinic advanced notice before visiting.
  • Emergency rooms should only be visited as a last resort.
  • If you don’t have insurance call a government-provided health care center.

Click here for breaking news alerts over the coronavirus.

Update from KSAT Community partner, University Health System:

Interim Visitation Guidelines and Risk Screening for COVID-19

“To better protect the health of the community, our staff and our patients all major San Antonio hospitals have developed substantially similar interim visitation guidelines and risk screening for COVID-19,” said a representative from University Health System. "The guidelines may change as we learn more about the virus and CDC gives additional direction. So please stay informed.

If you are visiting a hospital, click here on what you can expect.

Information on scammers provided by KSAT Community partner, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union:

“Scammers are always looking for an opportunity to collect your personally identifiable information, and they may attempt to use the current health crisis to their advantage," said Brian Munsterteiger, Vice President of Enterprise Fraud Management. “RBFCU is asking the public to be on alert for any suspicious activity that offer deals on health-related items, ask for donations or impersonate financial institutions, charities, or government agencies.”

Munsterteiger suggests if you feel you are a victim of a scam, please call your financial institution immediately or contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338), or visit online at www.ftc.gov.

“Do not share sensitive data such as credit and debit card information or usernames and passwords," Munsterteiger said. "Do not make purchases or donations on unfamiliar websites or download items to your device or computer from suspicious websites or emails. If you receive a message that seems suspicious, do not respond or give out any personal information, click on links, or open attachments.”

For more information on this topic click here.

Helpful (free) apps for coronavirus alerts:

- Ready South Texas, powered by City of San Antonio

- KSAT 12 News - KSAT.com

Update from the San Antonio Food Bank:

“Our low-income families, particularly our seniors on fixed incomes, don’t have the luxury of stocking up in case of a virus outbreak, and they certainly don’t have the ability to weather a two-week quarantine or leave without pay if their place of employment sees a slow down in business,” said Eric S. Cooper, President & CEO of San Antonio Food Bank.

If you need food, wish to volunteer your time or are able to donate, click here to support the Food Bank.

$5 can fill an entire box with food and necessary cleaning supplies for a family.

“When your pantry is empty and your bank account is near zero, it’s impossible to plan for something like a regional flu outbreak," Cooper said. "Fear can motivate all of us to take action in a time like this, but not all of us can afford the resources to prepare and prevent. We need to get ahead of the challenge and get our families secure and ready.”

For the next 30 days, the Food Bank’s goal is to add 15 million pounds of food to its distribution network.

This is equivalent to $1.5 million dollars. Only with your support can the Food Bank achieve this goal. In perspective, $1 equals 10 pounds, $10 equals 100 pounds, $100 equals 1,000 pounds.

With your help, we can fight hunger and feed hope in Southwest Texas!

For more information on this topic click here.

Steps to help protect against coronavirus COVID-19, American Red Cross:

About coronavirus COVID-19:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new Coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in China and has now spread to multiple countries including the U.S.

According to the CDC, patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have the disease, or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of the disease.

The following health and preparedness tips can help you stay healthy and prepare for possible disruptions due to this coronavirus.

To prepare your household for a possible COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., use these preparedness practices from the American Red Cross:

• Obtain at least a two week supply of food staples, household and sanitary products, if asked to stay home (a best practice to increase your preparedness for any hazard).

• Keep current prescription medications in regular supply, with at least a 30-day supply of needed health items.

• Learn how your local public health authorities will provide guidance to your community and stay informed.

• Learn how your children’s school or daycare, and your workplace plan to handle a possible outbreak. Create a plan to accommodate any closings, event cancellations or postponements.

• If you care for older adults or children, plan and prepare for caring for them, should they or you become sick.

Animal shelters nationwide come together to create COVID-19 guide:

American Pets Alive! (AmPA!) is joining forces with animal shelters nationally with a go-to guide to create shared, hands-on protocols for all shelters who want to prioritize and ensure that no shelter pet lives are lost as a result of increasing fear around the mutant coronavirus outbreak.

If you can help animal shelters, a donation link is available at americanpetsalive.org/donate.

Click here for the American Pets Alive! COVID-19 Animal Shelter Preparedness Guide

American Pets Alive! recommends animal shelters work to increase their foster home base to at least half the number of kennels in their shelter in order to prepare for a need to rapidly empty a shelter without using euthanasia.

According to the World Health Organization, there is ‘no evidence that companion animals have been infected or could spread [COVID-19.]’ This guide can be used for shelters preparing for possible threats to lifesaving capacity caused by community or shelter quarantine, shelter shut down, or staff being unable to care for animals in custody due to illness or the possible spread of disease between staff, according to a news release from American Pets Alive!

KSAT Community operates with University Health System, Energy Transfer and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.

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