A Message From The Mayor About Coronavirus

Posted by Rick Hobart, Mayor on Feb 28, 2020

Since the December 2019 discovery of the Coronavirus, its spread has dominated news reports. The virus that started in Wuhan, China has been identified in several countries including the United States.

As a result of a travel ban imposed on China a month ago, there are currently only sixty-one known cases in the United States (46 of those were repatriated to the United States) and those patients are being treated and are in quarantine.

One may ask, “How would this impact our small community herein Vernonia?” That is a great question,as information is developing about this new virus that affects the respiratory system. What we do know is that the Coronavirus spreads easily from person-to-person in similar ways as the flu and common cold.

The CDC and other health experts are currently working on developing a COVID-19 Vaccine. I believe our health experts have a good handle on the treatments now being administrated and valuable information is being passed down to federal, state,and local health providers. This includes our local health provider, Adventist Health. It is also worth noting that the Vernonia School District has a plan in place to work directly under the supervision of Columbia County if this virus should infect our community.

I do not claim to be a doctor, but it would be remiss of me not to pass on information from the CDC regarding how we can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.

  • 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.

Most importantly, calla health provider if you think you may be infected.

My intent in writing this letter is to emphasize my concern about this virus but also assure you that we should not panic at this stage of uncertainty. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish everyone good health in the days ahead.

Respectfully, Mayor Hobart