*This article is for informational purposes only. The current coronavirus outbreak is an ongoing event and certain details may change as new information comes to light.
*None of the information here should be taken as medical advice. If you suspect you may have any kind of infection, seek medical help immediately.
Here are the latest confirmed numbers by the World Health Organization (WHO) as of March 14th, 2020 06:00 CET.
- 142,320 confirmed cases, 5,388 deaths, and 129 countries, areas or territories with cases.
- Experts are saying people do not need to panic but should be prepared in case they are isolated or quarantined.
- COVID-19 was declared a pandemic March 11th, 2020 by the World Health Organization. (WHO) “This is the first pandemic caused by Coronavirus,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing in Geneva.
Experts from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from WHO have provided interim guidance based on what is currently known about COVID-19.
The guidelines will help households plan for community transmission of COVID-19 in their communities. Experts say it is important for people to prepare before a COVID-19 outbreak in your community.
Here are 7 expert-backed ways to prepare for a community outbreak in your households and communities.
1. Protect Yourself and Others
- Staying home from work, school, and all activities when you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, which may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing
- Keep away from others who are sick
- Social distancing – Limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet)
2. Put Your Household Plan into Action
- Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation in your community.
- Continue practicing everyday preventive actions (washing hands, cleaning surfaces, getting rest, etc.)
- Use a separate room and bathroom that you may have prepared for sick household members (if possible)
- Stay in touch with other’s by phone, email, or other devices or messaging apps
- Take care of the emotional health of your household member
3. Inform Your Workplace If You Need to Change Your Regular Work Schedule
Notify your workplace as soon as possible if you are asked to self-isolate or are quarantined by health professionals or government agencies.
Make sure to follow the protocol your place of work has put in place or as soon as they put a policy into place.
If you need to, ask to work from home or take leave if you or someone in our household gets sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or if your child’s school is dismissed temporarily.
4. Buy Soaps and Disinfectants
Soaps and other disinfectants will be crucial to decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Washing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (for example tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, or sinks) with household cleaners and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface.
Following label instructions will be key to decreasing your chances of contracting COVID-19.
Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.
5. Stock Up on Supplies
The experts say we do not need to buy large quantities of supplies, but it is a good idea to pick up a few extra items each time you go to the market or pharmacy. This way, you’re prepared and can avoid large crowds.
Stocking up on some supplies can reduce your contact with others who are potentially exposed to COVID-19.
6. Stock Up on Medicine
Experts are saying there is a higher risk associated with COVID-19 and other chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
If you are at higher risk because of your age or because of a serious long-term health problem, it will be important for you to take action to reduce your risk of getting sick with the virus.
This way, if you do start exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms you can help with symptoms until you reach a medical professional who can offer more help.
Have supplies on hand:
- Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications in case of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and if you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
- If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, fever reducers, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
7. Stock Up on Food Items You Need
Having enough food for two weeks – primarily nonperishables that won’t go bad while in storage should be sufficient.
As needed, this includes baby food and formula for infants, and powdered milk for toddlers receiving milk-based bottles, as well as pet food for your animals.
If you’re sick with the coronavirus – or any sickness, foods that you may want to have will be:
- Soups, apple sauce, and easy to eat foods. This may include one to two cans of soup per person per day.
- If you’re self-quarantined – you can most likely eat more regular type meals. You may supplement what you have in the pantry with food from your refrigerator (as still available) and the freezer.
Important to Remember
- If you do have or suspect to have serious symptoms of COVID-19 you should seek medical care.
- It is important to remember you have several options for obtaining medical care, including being seen by your primary care physician.
- Keep you and your family safe by following proper cleaning protocols and disinfecting frequently used surfaces. It will be important to distance yourself from large crowds and frequently clean your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- If you have a medical emergency, call your local number for emergency services to notify the operator that you have COVID-19 or suspect exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 symptoms.
Help and information
Coronavirus advisory information – World Health Organization
Coronavirus condition overview – World Health Organization
Coronavirus Q&A – World Health Organization
Health Insiders relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
 The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation. The World Health Organization. https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
 EPA Expands COVID-19 Disinfectant list. The United States Disinfectant List. https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-expands-covid-19-disinfectant-list 03/13/2020