Stephens County Public Health Recommendations
March 16 – These steps are recommended until April 20, 2020 or until otherwise noted.
Event and Large Gatherings Recommendations
Stephens County recommends any events over 50 people be canceled. Additionally, we strongly recommend organizers of events of any size in which people will be in close contact to cancel or postpone such events, if possible.
If you cannot avoid bringing a group of people together, we recommend the following guidelines:
Anyone who is sick or has a member of their household that is sick should not attend.
Those who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness should not attend.
Increase the frequency of sanitizing common touchpoints.
Try to encourage attendees to stay at least six feet away from each other.
Keep an adequate supply of hand soap, disinfectants, tissues, and paper towels.
Encourage attendees to follow increased hygiene, such as:
Washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
If soap and water are not available, attendees should use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid close contact with other people
Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth
Covering their cough or sneeze with a tissue - if available - or into their elbow
Recommendations for Workplaces and Businesses
Employers should take steps to make it more feasible for their employees to work in ways that minimize close contact with large numbers of people.
Maximize telecommuting options for as many employees as possible.
Activate their continuity of operations plan
Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.
Urge employees to stay home or telecommute if another member of their household is sick.
Consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas (doorknobs, tabletops, countertops, phones, key boards, etc.)
Prioritize protective actions for employees who are at higher risk of severe illness.
Recommendations for People at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness
People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. Gatherings of seniors or other people at higher risk of severe illness should be canceled or postponed. Those at higher risk include:
People 60 and older.
People with underlying health conditions (e.g. heart disease, lung disease, diabetes)
People who have weakened immune systems.
Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home. Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness should consult with their healthcare provider. Those without a healthcare provider should contact a local doctor or clinic for a consultation over the phone.
Mental Health Resources
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people throughout the community. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Accordingly, we suggest the following recommendations:
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans, stay connected with their healthcare provider, and monitor for any new symptoms.
Call your healthcare provider if stress reactions interfere with your daily activities
Contact MHMR of Stephens County 24/7 call line by phone by contacting the county’s MHMR provider, Betty Hardwick at 800.758.3344 if you are experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19.
Recommendations for people who are sick
Stay home when you are sick.
Do not go out in public when you are sick.
If you are ill in any way, call your doctor’s office first before going in.
Do not go to the emergency room unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, stay home and self-isolate until you have contacted a healthcare professional.
Recommendations for the General Public
Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands. Hand sanitizer does not replace washing of hands with soap and water.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use
the elbow of your sleeve. Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.
Even if you are not ill, avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you do need to visit one of these facilities, limit your time there and keep at least six feet away from patients.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially if you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.
Clean household surfaces with standard cleaners.
Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Visit www.facebook.com/stephenscountytx.gov frequently for updates.
Recommendations for Travel
Stephens County Emergency Management recommends all non-essential travel be cancelled at this time.