CDC Guidance & Recommendations
Guidance as of 3/15/2020
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.
This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.
Check CDC Travel Notices for latest guidance and recommendations to make decisions about travel plans accordingly. The CDC recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to countries/jurisdictions with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission of 2019 Novel Coronavirus by designating a Level 2 and 3 Travel Health Notices. CDC travel notices are found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS TO PREVENTION SPREAD OF ILLNESS
Promote and practice personal protective measures and illness prevention strategies to slow the spread of viruses. The best way to prevent ANY illness is to avoid being exposed to a virus. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading your illness to others, you should:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze preferably with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in the trash and wash hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- • When/How to Wash Your Hands at https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
- • Clean Hands Print Materials/Posters and Fact Sheets at https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/campaign.html
The CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks as a preventive measure for the general public. Little evidence supports the use of face masks by well persons in community settings. Facemasks are used in clinical and caregiving settings to prevent spread of diseases from ill patients to healthcare workers and/or caregivers who are in close contact.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTING
The CDC recommends routine environmental cleaning with EPA-registered cleaners/disinfectants/wipes. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning/disinfecting products. Practice routine and frequent cleaning of frequently touched surfaces including but not limited to desks, workstations, tables, doorknobs, handles, railings, light switches, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. Wipes can be provided so employees can wipe down surfaces before each use.
A list of EPA-approved products for emerging viral pathogens maintained by the American Chemistry Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) at: https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf
COVID-19 preparedness tip
Use hand sanitizer that contains 60% of alcohol or higher. Some of the hand sanitizers rely on benzalkonium chloride instead of alcohol as the active ingredient. Such non-alcohol antiseptic products may not work as well for many types of germs.
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