Protecting Yourself and Others from Coronavirus
The Michigan Democratic Party is committed to doing all we can to minimize the risk of the spread of coronavirus throughout the year.
Below we outline what the coronavirus is, how to protect yourself, how to protect your event, and where to go for additional information.
UPDATE: Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-21, directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store. Read the full press release here.
What is the coronavirus?
According to the Center for Disease Control, COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- shortness of breath
- Some patients have had other symptoms including muscle aches, headache, sore throat, or diarrhea.
- Based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of other coronaviruses, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure.
- Symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses that are circulating, such as influenza, so experiencing these symptoms alone does not necessarily mean you need to be tested for COVID-19.
How to protect yourself and others
Below are some basic recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to protect yourself from coronavirus.
- 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.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- 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.
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.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has some useful advice on protecting yourself as well, which we recommend reading.
Events and Meetings
The Michigan Democratic Party recommends that all local clubs, caucuses, and county parties cancel their upcoming events or host them virtually. You can find resources for virtual events below.
The CDC has put together some recommendations for event organizers, which is a useful resource as we enter election season.
We also encourage party leaders to share advice and ideas about keeping members engaged while we are all at home. If you’ve held a virtual event, let folks know what worked and what didn’t. If your event is coming up and you’ve got questions, ask your fellow democratic leaders.
If you choose to cancel your in-person meetings or events, your group may want to consider conducting them online or telephonically.
FreeConferenceCall.com offers free conference lines for up to 1,000 people. https://www.freeconferencecall.com/
Zoom Conference offers free video conference rooms for up to 100 people with the option to include a PowerPoint. https://zoom.us/
Johns Hopkins University is tracking the spread of coronavirus live. While they cannot track cases that have yet to be diagnosed and reported, this is still a useful tool for determining whether coronavirus has been confirmed in your community.
There’s some misinformation about coronavirus circulating. We recommend taking a moment to review the WHO’s myth-busters to set the record straight about what coronavirus is.
The Red Cross has a really useful one page fact sheet with important information on coronavirus.