Coronavirus Update: Protocols, Preventions, Quarantines, And Event Cancelations

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread throughout different areas of the United States and the world, precautions have taken place to prevent an even more rapid spreading. So far, these have included mass quarantines in China; a cruise ship that was not allowed to dock anywhere on the Pacific Ocean for multiple days and started allowing passengers to begin disembarking yesterday in Oakland, California; and thousands of individuals placed under quarantine in major cities like Seattle, Washington.

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Jenny Durkan, Mayor of the City of Seattle called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expedite the testing protocols for COVID-19. “Exponentially streamlining and expanding testing nationwide helps local leaders better understand and appropriately respond to COVID-19,” she said in a statement released on Thursday. As of now, 20 people have died in the Seattle area from Coronavirus. 

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The CDC lists the following actions, among others, to aid in preventing the spreading of respiratory diseases like COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

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Internationally, Italy has seen increased measures taken by its government to contain the outbreak of Coronavirus that the European country has faced in increasing proportions over the last weeks. After initially implementing a quarantine order for its northern region, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is now requiring people to request permission for “essential travel” and to stay home. As of Monday, 463 people have died in Italy from COVID-19, the most in the world after China.

The spread of Coronavirus has had an impact on a global scale, causing the delay or cancelation of major events, school closures, and economic impact on the stock markets, travel and leisure industry, and more.

In Miami, the annual Ultra Music Festival, originally scheduled for March 20-22 in the downtown area, was canceled. The home page of the electronic dance music festival’s website shows a statement from organizers to concertgoers, stating that the Coronavirus outbreak is, “an unprecedented issue which is not being taken lightly, and we must continue to defer to the authorities for guidance. Ultimately, there is no higher priority for us than the health, safety and physical well-being of each of you, together with everyone else involved in the production of the event.”

In Austin, Texas, the 2020 edition of the South by Southwest festival, scheduled to start this weekend, was canceled, as was the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California.

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In Geneva, Switzerland, the yearly Watches & Wonders Fair was canceled. Baselworld, a rival fair, canceled its 2020 edition after initially announcing it was being postponed. The Geneva Motor Show was also canceled.