Coronavirus and Chester County: What You Need to Know
The status of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing daily with new cases popping up across the nation and expanding across the globe. The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce is taking a calm, proactive approach to help educate our members and stop the spread of fear and misinformation. Here is what you need to know about COVID-19 and Chester County, PA.
Is it in Chester County?
In our region, cases have been confirmed in Delaware and Bucks Counties, and testing of possible cases is underway in Chester County, including West Chester. At this time, there are NO confirmed cases in Chester County.
Who is at risk?
The highest risk populations for virus contraction and fatality remain to be the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, sore throat, nasal congestion, and diarrhea.
How can I reduce my risk of contracting the virus?
- Avoid contact with others. Don’t shake hands or hug acquaintances.
- Wash hands frequently. Clean hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60-95% ethyl alcohol is best) if soap and water are unavailable.
- Disinfect high-traffic surfaces often – desks, cell phones, keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or in the crook of your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Refrain from coughing into your hand as it can spread the virus.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Avoid all non-essential travel and large venues/events.
- Stay home and consult a healthcare provider if you feel sick.
What do I do if I start to feel sick?
- STAY HOME! The best way to prevent spread of the disease is to quarantine yourself for up to 14 days.
- Contact your healthcare provider. Based on your symptoms and your risk-level, they will decide whether or not you need to come in to the office for testing. It is best to call beforehand to reduce possible community spread and/or allow the office time to prepare for your arrival.
- Hydrate, rest, repeat.
How should I prepare for a possible quarantine?
It’s important to prepare for a public health emergency by stocking up on personal items you and your family would need. This does NOT mean hoarding items, which can create shortages and further panic. Imagine you’re going on vacation, and think about what your family might need. Consider collecting items such as:
- Water and non-perishable food items (including items for your pets)
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Personal care items (lotions, soap, toiletries, etc.)
Where can I find accurate and up-to-date information?
The Chester County Health Department is working diligently around the clock to investigate and handle possible COVID-19 cases, as well as stop the spread of fear and misinformation. For accurate and updated information, as well as prevention and protocol advice for businesses and residences in the region, please visit their website at https://chesco.org/224/Health.