2020 Coronavirus Outbreak – How Does It Affect Havertown, PA?
Recent news reports suggest the coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global health concern.
You must call ahead if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID19.
This page was lasted updated on 3/18/20
Health officials identified a new, severe illness emerging in Wuhan City, China, in early January 2020. Identified as never seen before coronavirus, it began to infect many people in the area, drawing the attention of the World Health Organization. Originally named 2019-nCov, it began to cause severe respiratory illnesses to those it affected. WHO officials now name this virus as COVID-19. On social media, unconfirmed reports and messages suggested that the overall situation regarding an infected population was much worse than what the news was reporting. At the end of January, several provinces in China were under quarantine, and public transportation had been shut down in other areas of the country. Movements were being restricted, and some cities asked businesses not to open for two weeks in the hope of slowing the spread of the infection. Health officials around the world began to monitor points of entry to their respective countries for possible infections. On January 30th, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. January 30th, the State Department issued a Level 4: Do No Travel advisory asking all citizens to avoid travel to China and those in the country to depart immediately. With the continued outbreak of this virus, the State Department also issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning for:
A Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution was issued for:
Many living in Havertown have seen reports and have questions about this coronavirus, COVID-19. Below are some common questions that have been asked and the answers to them. This page will be kept up to date as best as possible, but it is not updated in real-time.
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Are there any confirmed cases in Havertown, PA?
As of March 17th, health officials have confirmed COVID-19 infections in Delaware County. Additional infections have been found in other counties in Pennsylvania, as well as in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. The increasing trend of infections has led to the closure of school districts and nonessential businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
During a press conference with Gov. Tom Wolf, Dr. Levine stated:
“Further spread of this virus throughout the nation will likely occur. We encourage people to prepare for potential life disruptions. The same family emergency plans and kits that we use to prepare for flu or norovirus, and even snowstorms and floods, are important now. Pennsylvanians should continue to help stop the spread of viruses by washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces and staying home if you are sick.”
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus? How long do they take to appear?
The symptoms associated with an initial infection of the coronavirus are similar to the flu, a common cold, or an upper respiratory infection. These symptoms can include:
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Pain
Unlike the flu or an upper respiratory infection, this virus can cause some life-threatening complications, including:
- Fever of over 100.4F
- Trouble Breathing
Currently, symptoms are reported to appear within 14 days of infection and, in some cases, as soon as two days. Doctors do not yet agree to what the average time of the appearance of symptoms or if someone is contagious before symptoms show themselves.
I heard Governor Wolf closed all businesses in Pennsylvania, is your urgent care center open?
Yes, AFC Urgent Care Havertown is open for its normal business hours. The order was to close all nonessential businesses. Since we are an urgent care center, we are deemed to be essential and will remain open unless ordered to close.
Can I be tested for a COVID-19 infection at AFC Urgent Care Havertown?
We cannot test or treat COVID-19 at this time at our urgent care center. If you suspect you are showing symptoms of an infection. Please call our urgent care center first before arriving for guidance. We want to ensure the safety and health of our staff and patients.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
COVID-19 has never been seen before my medical science, and therefore there is no vaccine for it. The flu shot you received this year does not provide protection from it. A vaccine for this virus is being developed, but it is unknown when it will be available. New vaccines generally take months or years to develop.
How does someone become infected from COVID-19?
While the virus was thought to have been contracted initially from a yet unidentified animal, person to person transmission is possible. In fact, there is already a case in the United States of a person to person infection. This virus is contagious.
I don’t feel well, and I have some of these symptoms. Am I infected? What are the risk factors for the COVID-19 coronavirus?
Health officials in Delaware County expect the area to experience community infection. When this occurs, the virus is actively spreading in the area and it will be difficult to determine how someone became infected. However, it should be noted that there are other illnesses out there that can mimic the symptoms of COVID-19. AFC Urgent Care Aston can easily treat you if you have the flu or an upper respiratory infection. Two symptoms that could indicated you have COVID-19 include:
- A dry cough that produces no phlegm or mucus
- A fever
There is a higher chance of contracting COVID-19 if you have traveled from China or Europe in the last 14 days or have traveled through an area of the United States with widespread infections.
If you have traveled to these areas or have the two symptoms above, do not visit AFC Urgent Care Havertown without first calling. Speak with our staff about your symptoms, concerns, and if you are at risk for COVID-19. We cannot treat COVID-19, but we may be able to determine it is something else over the phone. Please call so we can provide guidance.
How can I prevent an infection from COVID-19?
No special precautions, at this time, need to be taken beyond what someone would do to avoid the flu. Currently, guidelines to prevent a COVID-19 infection are.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching surfaces and then your face
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
- Cover your nose and mouth if you feel sick
For additional protection
- Avoid live animal markets
- Cook food thoroughly
- Wear a surgical mask & eye protection
Is the coronavirus related to SARS or MERS? Why is it called COVID-19?
SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 all come from the same family of viruses: The coronavirus. COVID-19 shares more similarities with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which also was first detected in Asia. MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) shares less in common with this infection and was first detected in Saudi Arabia.
Health officials changed the way newly discovered bacteria and viruses were named. Previously, they were named after animals they were discovered in, like “Swine Flu,” or after a place, like “Lyme Disease.” Naming new infections this way often caused misinformation and fear. This current coronavirus was name 2019-nCov reflects the year it was discovered and that it is a novel coronavirus. They attach “Novel” to it because it has never been seen before. It is now named COVID-19 to denote the year it was first detected (2019) and that it is a new coronavirus. Another name some scientists use to describe this virus is SARS-CoV-2 or “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.”
AFC Urgent Care’s walk-in clinic in Havertown is up to date with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Do you have questions about the coronavirus? Feel free to call if you have any questions!