Help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus by accessing helpful information and resources, including how to protect yourself and others.
Last updated 3-13-20.
The COVID-19 situation in the United States is evolving rapidly as more becomes known about the virus, how it spreads, and how it effects people. On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. It is paramount that we - as individuals, as households, as businesses, and as a community - take appropriate steps to mitigate the spread of the disease to the best of our ability.
"It is paramount that we - as individuals, as households, as businesses, and as a community - take appropriate steps to mitigate the spread of the disease to the best of our ability."
The United Way of Franklin County staff team has been following the movement of news and public concern regarding the novel coronavirus. Based on the most recent information and following the lead of United Way Worldwide, which has canceled their events through the end of April, we made the proactive decision to postpone our upcoming Learn & Play Day with United Way in the interest of public health. The new date for the event will be Saturday, September 19. We also decided to cancel our spring event, the BRAVO! Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, which was scheduled for April 29. We feel our decisions on these events are the best course of action for our volunteers, supporters, event partners, attendees, and the community.
To encourage others in our community to take preventative actions and make informed decisions (while remaining calm!), we are sharing some information and resources on COVID-19 for individuals and businesses alike.
The best way to take care of your health and protect others in our community is by doing the following:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (what you need to know about handwashing).
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Discard in the trash immediately after. Use your sleeve if no tissue available, but recognize that current evidence suggests infectious germs may remain viable on surfaces for hours. Change your shirt as soon as possible after coughing or sneezing.
Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, door knobs, cell phones, keyboards, and other frequently touched items.
If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others. The only place you should go if you are sick is to receive medical care. Start with calling your Primary Care Provider, or consider a WellSpan Online Urgent Care appointment. If you are sick, you should quarantine in your home for 14 days, unless otherwise instructed by your health care professional.
Stay informed, and stay calm. It is important to be aware of the most up-to-date information available about coronavirus and create an emergency preparedness kit (view the PA Emergency Prepareness Guide). But it is equally important not to panic or make rash decisions, as these can have a negative impact on our economy and on public health/safety.
Employers should take action now and prepare the workplace. The World Health Organization provided a guide for workplaces on how to conduct business while playing a role in stopping to spread the disease.
Below are links to further information about COVID-19 from reputable organizations qualified to report on and provide resources for public health information. These sources are updated as new information becomes available in response to this rapidly evolving situation.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - There is a wide variety of information available on the CDC website for workplaces, homes, schools and commercial establishments regarding the coronavirus. The best place to start gathering information is on their "What You Should Know" page for facts about how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, what to do if you're sick, and other FAQs. They also provide recommendations for travel and how to best protect yourself and your family.
World Health Organization (WHO) - The WHO website will help you stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak and advice for protective measures. They also dispel common myths about the disease, and provide resources for workplaces.
PA Department of Health - This website provides up-to-date information on COVID-19 testing in the state of Pennsylvania, including which counties are impacted with confirmed cases to date. There are also a variety of free graphics available to help spread the word about symptoms, preparation, quarantine, and more.
Wellspan Health - WellSpan is continuously preparing for the spread of coronavirus, meeting daily to update plans and procedures to ensure the health and safety of patients, visitors and staff. Their website provides helpful information about COVID-19, and their Online Urgent Care provides on-demand access to physicians 24/7.
Keystone Health - Keystone is preparing for coronavirus with messaging asking patients to immediately tell staff if they have come in contact with someone known to have tested positive and are experiencing symptoms; patients will then promptly wear a mask when entering practices. In addition, Keystone has information available on their website.
If you have further questions about the novel coronavirus, call the PA Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).
If you are in need of human services assistance, dial 2-1-1 for referrals to local resources. You may dial 2-1-1 at any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.