From Corey Johnson, NY City Council Speaker
Recently a new coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, has been detected in thousands of people worldwide.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases, which, in severe cases, can lead to pneumonia.
While the risk to New Yorkers of contracting this new coronavirus remains low, the City has been preparing for the possibility of person-to-person transmission within the five boroughs, following an outbreak of the virus in other parts of the world. These preparations will be discussed at a Council hearing this Thursday, March 5, 2020, beginning at 1 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
At this point, the City is encouraging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives, but to take the same precautions you normally would during cold and flu season:
- Get your flu shot — it's not too late. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Stay at home if you do not feel well.
Additionally, at this point New Yorkers do not need to:
- Limit travel within the city;
- Avoid public gatherings and public transportation;
- Change anything about where you get your food or how you prepare it; or
- Wear a face mask if you are not sick.
- Face masks are only recommended if directed by a health care provider. People wear protective face masks for many reasons, including seasonal allergies, pollution, or protecting those around them from a common cold. They should not be harassed or targeted for wearing one.
For additional information about the coronavirus, including symptoms and prevention and an up-to-date case count in New York City, please visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus.
- NYC Department of Education Coronavirus Webpage
- World Health Organization — Coronavirus Disease Advice for the Public
- CDC Coronavirus Disease — What You Should Know & Situation Updates
New York City Council Speaker