Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people, such as with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in China and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported in countries outside China, including the US.
To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use only the guidance described below to determine risk of COVID-19. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin, and be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19.
Preventive Care: In the Workplace
- Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads
- Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds by lathering your hands including the back of your hands, between your fingers and nails. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
- Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.
- Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
- Use a hand sanitizer that has an alcohol-base greater than 60% at all times which is recommended you have access to whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
- If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more
- Hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
- Avoid close contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs before consumption
To ensure HEALTH and SAFETY of all, we will be asking several questions:
- Recent travel history and if they exhibit symptoms of respiratory tract infections, including
- Fever -greater than 100.4 F or 38 C
- Shortness of breath
- Recent contact with someone who has been suspected or confirmed of Coronavirus.
Below is a decision tree, developed by the CDC for assessing risk and public exposure
If there is a suspected case of Covid-19 kindly contact the following numbers for further advice-
|County||Medical Officer||Telephone Contact|
|St. George West||Dr. Harry Smith||624-3439|
|St George East||Dr. Osafo Fraser||667-5273|
|Nariva/ Mayaro||Dr. Natsha Sookoo||222-5005|
|Tobago||Dr. Tiffany Hoyte||639-3751|
|St. Andrew/ St. David||Dr. Allana Quamina-Best||668-2053|
|Caroni||Dr. Jenanine Best||226-4400 ext 4402|
|St. George Central||Dr. Roger Ramjohn||285-8992|
|St. Patrick||Dr. Kalicharan Ramnarine||649-2056|
What if I recently travelled to a country with reported cases and got sick?
If you travelled to a country where cases of the novel coronavirus was detected, watch yourself for symptoms within 14 days after you left that country.
- If you develop symptoms and feel sick with mild cough or low grade fever (i.e. a temperature of 37.3 C or more), or difficulty breathing, you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Wear a mask if available
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick if possible?
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- You should also telephone your healthcare provider or the local public health department, giving them details of your recent travel and symptoms and subsequently advise your Supervisor of the situation. You will be required to stay at home and self-isolate until a full diagnosis has been completed. This means avoiding close contact (one meter or nearer) with other people, including family members.
- Check your local Ministry of Health for information or CARPHA’s website for further updates and guidance for travellers.
If You or A Relative Has Symptoms You and the person you are caring for should remain in your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis until you have been told that is safe to do so.
Additional Resources you may wish to Read-
Protecting yourself – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
Protecting your home – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/protect-family.html
Latest Science on Covid-19 – https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus
Local updates – http://www.health.gov.tt/sitepages/default.aspx?id=292