WEST TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The New Jersey Department of Health on Friday announced it now has the ability to test for coronavirus at its lab in West Trenton. That should speed up the process of checking possible cases of the virus.
New Jersey health officials say they’ve received 620 calls about the coronavirus. People have a lot of questions, and while there are no confirmed cases in the area, officials say people should be getting ready just in case.
“We don’t want people to panic,” Director of Infectious Disease Kris Ehresmann said. “We do want them to take action so that they are prepared and they feel comfortable having kind of thought things through before we start to see cases of disease.”
If there is a widespread coronavirus outbreak in the United States, people may need to stay home. Experts say now is the time to stock up.
You should have a two-to-three week supply of non-perishable food and water and medicine — prescription and over-the-counter.
Think of any items that you need or use on a regular basis and don’t forget the toilet paper.
“What do you need to do to make sure your organization, your business, your agency is prepared to continue to function in the event of a large outbreak?” Ehresmann said.
People could be asked to work from home. It’s a good time to stock up on computer supplies and if kids are home from school, it won’t be just keeping up with homework, think entertainment too — books, games, movies.
Avoiding all of that could be as simple as handwashing.
With contagious virus circulating — mainly the flu and maybe the coronavirus — the best way to avoid getting sick is to keep your hands clean.
“We keep saying it, but we mean it. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands,” Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson said.
Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and remember it’s hands touching the face that spreads germs.
“Don’t touch your face and your mouth,” Cuervo Tilson said. “That’s something that’s actually really hard for people, so that’s one of the things we are suggesting, so just start noticing how often you actually touch your face and start thinking about that, helping to modify that once you know it.”
Everyone needs to practice keeping their hands away from their face, which will reduce the risk for all kinds of germs, including a regular cold.
This content was originally published here.