Warren Mayor Jim Fouts says his administration will be proactive in its efforts to inform residents about what they can do to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts says his administration will be proactive in its efforts to inform residents about what they can do to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Warren taking steps to address potential coronavirus threat

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published February 28, 2020

Advertisement

WARREN — Hand-sanitizing stations. Protective masks and gloves. Public service announcements about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say now is the time to prepare for the possible spread of coronavirus to the United States, and the city of Warren is rolling out a list of measures designed to mitigate a potential health threat in metro Detroit’s largest suburb.

“It’s not a question of if, it’s when,” Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said last week about the potential for “community spread” of coronavirus in the United States. “I want to be at the forefront of this issue. I’d rather be prepared than scared later on.”

In addition to making hand-sanitizing stations, protective masks and gloves available for employees and those visiting city buildings, Fouts said city offices would display educational materials from the CDC to help educate residents about preventing the spread of coronavirus and identifying its symptoms. Other measures include the implementation of public health management decision making training for first responders, a risk assessment protocol for the city’s emergency dispatchers and meetings with officials from local hospitals, urgent care facilities and schools.

“I think we have to error on the side of caution,” Fouts said. “I think we are doing everything we can to prepare.”

According to the CDC, an outbreak of respiratory ailments caused by a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes (coronavirus disease 2019, now abbreviated COVID-19) was first detected late last year in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. A CDC summary states that, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.”

Two previous examples were SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012. Both caused severe illnesses in people. According to the CDC, while the scope of health implications related to COVID-19 are not fully understood, reported illnesses ranged from mild to severe, including death.

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The CDC reports that symptoms of COVID-19 can appear between two and 14 days after exposure.

More information is available online at cdc.gov.

Advertisement