The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of
respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei
Province, China.  Local Boards of Health will continue to monitor
information provided by the CDC and the MA Department of Public Health through
announcements and conference calls.

Coronaviruses are respiratory viruses and are generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person. Symptoms of novel coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia (fluid in the lungs).  Below is a list of precautions that could help prevent exposure to respiratory viruses/illnesses which includes the flu and Coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-basedhand sanitizers and rub till completely dry.
  • Cough/sneeze into a tissue and dispose the tissue immediately into a trash can. If youdon’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with others who are sick.
  • If you are sick stay home, seek health care, and avoid contact with others such asmeetings and events.
  • Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.

The CDC has also provided a list of what people should not do:

  • Do not travel to China.
  • Do not use facemasks. CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV.
  • Do not show prejudice to people of Asian descent, because of fear of this new virus. Do not assume that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have 2019-nCoV.

We would like to remind the public that we are currently in the peak of cold and flu season.  So far this season, the CDC has estimated 19 million flu illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths from the flu nationally. Please follow the precautions mentioned above to avoid exposure to the flu virus.

For more information:
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Summary (updated regularly)
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Case Count in the U.S. (updated regularly)
 CDC website – General Information
MDPH website – General Information (updated regularly)
Coronavirus Heatmap: (link)
Coronavirus Fact Sheet: (link)
  Flowchart to Identify and Assess Coronavirus