The following was submitted by Wayland Director of Public Health Julia Junghanns:
Currently there are no cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wayland, but, as a matter of prevention regarding spread of this disease, it is extremely critical to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) self-quarantine guidelines to prevent further widespread community transmission of respiratory illness caused by Coronavirus.
The Wayland Health Department urges all residents, businesses and town and school staff to assess their own situation as to whether self-quarantine applies to them and/or their family.
As of March 4, the CDC recommends everyone avoid all non-essential travel to Level 3 Travel Warning countries (currently China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) and that older individuals and those with chronic health conditions avoid non-essential travel to Level 2 countries (currently Japan), and that other travelers practice enhanced precaution.
A Level 3 Travel Warning means there is widespread community transmission of respiratory illness caused by the Coronavirus.
Travelers returning back to the U.S. from any of the Level 3 countries, as per CDC guidelines, must self-quarantine (“stay home”) for 14 days from the time of departure from any of the Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries and should also practice social distancing. These individuals are to self-monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Family members of an individual under self-quarantine should review and closely follow CDC guidelines for preventing COVID-19 from spreading in the home (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html).
Individuals coming from a Level 2 country (currently Japan) and returning back to the U.S. are asked to limit contact with others and self-monitor for symptoms.
Travelers with questions should call 617-983-6800.
During self-quarantine, follow these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:
1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
2. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
3. Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
4. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
5. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
What to do if you get sick
If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough or have trouble breathing:
1. Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
2. Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
3. Avoid contact with others.
If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.
Gov. Charlie Baker is urging students not to travel abroad. If you are immune-compromised or elderly with potential underlying health issues, you should strongly reconsider your needs to travel internationally to countries with Level 2 (Japan) COVID-19 travel warnings. Note that these travel advisories are fluid and other countries may be added at any time (please check www.wayland.ma.us/health-department).
For individuals who must travel to countries with Level 2 (Japan) or Level 3 COVID-19 Countries of Risk, the travel recommendations are:
1. Avoid contact with sick people.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
3. Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% to 95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Supplies of hand sanitizer, tissues and other hygiene products may be limited, so consider bringing them with you.
4. Stay home and monitor your health for 14 days after returning to the U.S.
5. Avoid traveling if you are sick.
People should be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Wayland community. However, the community can take measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. There is guidance that from CDC at www.wayland.ma.us/health-department on preventing spread to communities and how to prepare for an emergency and take action for COVID-19 – at home or work, at school/college, for large gatherings and faith-based settings, and for first responders and health care professionals.