The Department of Public Health (DPH) has been working for several weeks monitoring and preparing for any local cases of COVID-19. There are currently no known cases of the disease within a 500-mile radius of our area.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. However, COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
The prevention methods recommended for this disease, at this time, are similar to other communicable diseases.
“We continue to ask El Pasoans to practice thorough and regular hand washing. We ask that they cover their cough and stay home if they are sick so that they don’t spread an illness to those around them,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director.
“Our residents should also call ahead to doctors’ offices and hospitals, if they can, and let them know their signs and symptoms so that the provider can best prepare for their arrival at their facility.”
DPH has been in regular contact with Public Health leadership at both the state and federal levels. Health advisories have been issued to local physicians, providers, hospitals, and members of the business community.
“We are doing our best to balance releasing information that could potentially create concern in our community while releasing enough information to let the community know we are ready if the threat level increases. But that is something we do all the time in public health. Whether it is measles, Zika virus, Ebola, or COVID-19 we have a lot of experience, and we are very well prepared to handle this situation,” Resendes added.
Information specialists with the 2-1-1 Call Center are available to answer questions regarding the disease, 24/7.