Department of Health warning families to prepare for coronavirus

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Health said the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat to Hawaii is low at this time, but they’re asking families to start making plans now in case the coronavirus makes its way to Hawaii in the future.

“While the threat to Hawaii is low at this time, we want to take this time to prepare for the eventuality that we will identify cases here in Hawaii,” said Danette Tomiyasu with the Department of Health.

They are asking families to prepare a 14-day kit.

“We want them to start thinking about what they would need in any type of emergency, for example similar to what they would plan for in a hurricane,” said Tomiyasu.

This includes a 14-day supply of food and water, a first aid kit, radios and flashlights and additional supplies if you have a baby or a pet. This also includes clothes and items needed for hygiene such as toilet paper and toothpaste. The Health Department also warns to not forget an extra supply of your medication.

The FDA said it’s already expecting “potential disruptions to supply or shortage of critical medical products in the U.S.” with factories stopping work in China. So far, the Department of Health tells KHON that they haven’t seen any shortages here.

One thing, they are concerned about is the potential for the virus to spread in homes where a lot of people are living under one roof.

“In Hawaii we have many homes with large families in them, and we understand that’s just the way we live in Hawaii. We want to make sure that families consider what they might do if another family member is sick,” said Tomiyasu.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • If someone is sick, they need to be isolated as much as possible. They should have their own bedroom and bathroom.
  • If you need to share a bathroom, make sure all “high touch” surfaces like doorknobs, counters, toilets are cleaned. You can do this with any household cleaner.
  • The CDC recommends not sharing anything with someone who’s sick, including bedding, towels and utensils.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitizer, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wear disposable mask and gloves if you come in contact with a sick person
  • For a sick person, they should not touch or handle pets as they might transfer the virus to their pet.

If you’re sick wear a mask. If you’re healthy, the Health Department said there’s no need to use one.

“The masks are effective for people who are ill and they don’t want to spread their germs to other people. It hasn’t been shown to be effective for those who are well and to protect them from being sick,” said Tomiyasu.

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