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Monday, March 30, 2020

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY: Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities issues guidance on COVID-19

Local Government

By Press release submission | Mar 16, 2020

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Anne Arundel County issued the following announcement on March 11.

Over the past several weeks, the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities has been working very closely with the county administration and all county agencies to develop a measured approach that will keep staff and residents safe and informed in the midst of a very fluid situation. The department has been closely monitoring all national, state, and local information related to the continued spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The health and safety of residents, staff, and volunteers is always a priority. Staff and volunteers will follow recommended guidelines from the Anne Arundel County Department of Health which is in direct contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Maryland Department of Health and all local county agencies. We share the public's concern about this issue and will continue to align our policies and procedures with the latest recommended preventative measures.

Information shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

•Older adults

•People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:

•Heart disease

•Diabetes

•Lung disease

The Department of Aging and Disabilities has already taken many steps consistent with preparedness recommendations. Effective immediately, discretionary activities are temporarily suspended for services and programs offered by the department, including some programming at all 8 senior activity center buildings. The activities include:

•All special events such as holiday celebrations, flea markets, and conferences;

•All trips out of the centers except for local trips for groceries, medications, and supplies.

As this is a quickly evolving situation, you are encouraged to visit our website for the latest information on any cancellations and closures.

Staff will continue to implement the following everyday preventive steps that are always recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds, flu, and COVID-19. We encourage senior activity center members, older adults, individuals with disabilities, and professional and family caregivers to do the same.

•If you are sick, stay home, except to get medical care.

•Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

•Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

•Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices.

•Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve, or your elbow.

•Avoid touching your face.

•Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Older adults over the age of 60 and those with pre-existing medical problems have a greater risk of serious illness. Examples of pre-existing medical problems are cancer, diabetes, heart disease, COPD or other conditions impacting the immune system's ability to fight germs. Here are some tips to avoid exposure of COVID-19 and to be prepared for a length of stay at home:

•Avoid non-essential travel, such as long plane trips.

•Avoid crowds, touching "high-touch" surfaces in public areas and close contact with people who are sick.

•Have an adequate supply of over-the-counter drugs and other health supplies on hand, which could include: pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.

•Have a thermometer, tissues and hand sanitizer in case you become ill and must stay at home to recover.

•Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

•Have a two-week supply of water and food in your home.

The department will continue to closely monitor this issue, and will update residents on any changes to hours, programs, or services. Guidelines and recommendations are likely to be interim and subject to change as we learn more.

You are encouraged to consult reputable public health resources available online including:

Anne Arundel County Department of Health

Maryland Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For updated information about COVID-19, please call 2-1-1, or visit www.aahealth.org/coronavirus.

Original source can be found here.

Source: Anne Arundel County

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