Photo: HODELETE 30
Photo: HODELETE 30

Coronavirus checklist: Here’s what experts say you can do to prepare for an outbreak

As Ohio leaders and health officials work to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Ohio Department of Health released a checklist of items and ways to prepare households for any infectious disease outbreak, including coronavirus.

>> Coronavirus: Complete Coverage

The following is a list of things people should keep at their homes and steps they should take to prepare:

  • Keep an adequate supply of water, food and pet food in your home. 
  • Talk to your healthcare provider, pharmacist or insurance provider about getting an emergency supply of prescription drugs to keep at home.
  • Get a working thermometer and respiratory medications, such as decongestants, expectorants and analgesics (ibuprofen and pain relievers). 
  • Get a flu shot if you haven’t already this season. While it doesn’t protect against coronavirus, it can help protect against the flu or lessen symptoms, decreasing the strain on health care facilities.
  • Talk to immediate family, relatives and friends about each others’ possible needs in the event of an outbreak.
  • Talk to neighbors about planning. Join neighborhood information websites or emails.
  • Plan ways to help and care for people at higher risk, including the very young, older people, people with chronic disease and people with compromised immune systems.
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  • Create an emergency contact list of family members, friends, neighbors, health care providers, teachers, employers and others.
  • Identify community organizations tat may be able to help if you need information, health care services, support or other resources.
  • Keep a room, and a bathroom if possible, in your home that could be used to separate family members who become sick.
  • Plan for childcare in case schools close temporarily.
  • Ask employers about their preparedness plans, including sick leave and options to work remotely.
  • Learn the preparedness plans of your children’s childcare facilities, schools and colleges.
  • Prepare for cancellation or disruptions in public transportation services.
  • Prepare to cancel or postpone attendance at large events, including sporting events, conferences and worship services.
  • Prepare to stay away from large crowds and cancel non-essential travel.

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The ODH also offered the following prevention tips:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Keep soap, hand sanitizer and tissues with you and make them easy to access at home.
  • Keep household cleaners and wipes available and use according to directions.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces every day. High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. Clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them.
  • Stay informed on recommendations from public health officials at www.cdc.gov, www.odh.ohio.gov and you local health department website.
    >> How to get expert answers to your coronavirus questions

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