Help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus by accessing helpful information and resources, including how to protect yourself and others.
Last updated 3-31-20.
UPDATE: United Way of Franklin County has activated the Community Crisis Response & Recovery Fund to help provide basic needs to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To donate and learn more, click here. If you want to contribute in other ways, we also have a volunteer page with current opportunities (both helping from home and out in the community).
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.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
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.
Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, door knobs, cell phones, keyboards, and other frequently touched items.
Follow state mandate to stay home and maintain social distance. As of March 31, Franklin County is under shelter-in-place orders. Learn more here.
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, quarantine, and more.
Franklin County Government - The county's coronavirus page has a wealth of resources including school district food distribution programs.
Keystone Health - Keystone has information available on their website including their most up-to-date policies to help prevent the spread at their practices.
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, contact 211 by visiting their website www.uwp.org/211gethelp, dialing 2-1-1, or texting your zip code to 898211. Currently, 211 is experiencing high call volumes, and the quickest way to get help is via text.