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THD Asks Returning Spring Breakers to Monitor Health and Practice Social Distancing

TULSA, OK – [March 20, 2020] – Spring break is a beloved tradition among students and families. Many families may have traveled to popular tourist destinations for a vacation. The impending return of Tulsa County spring breakers is on the forefront of public health officials and leaders’ minds because of the potential spread of COVID-19 as residents may return from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread.

“All travelers should monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning home,” said Executive Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “We recognize this is a challenging period for all families, and stress the importance of reducing the potential of exposure in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Public health officials advise that anyone who returns from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread should stay home for 14 days from the time they left the area. All 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19 to CDC. Many states have community-acquired cases where the source of infection is unknown. 

Countries that have widespread or ongoing community spread (CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice) include: China, Iran, South Korea, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Ireland, Malaysia and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).

After you arrive home, take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

Stay at home. Do not go to work, school or leave your house for 14 days. Discuss your work situation with your employer to determine if you are able to work remotely. 
Monitor your health. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (temperature of 100.4°F/38°C or higher). Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
Practice social distancing. Avoid close contact with other people for the 14 days. Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet) from family members and others in the home when possible.
Do not take public transportation. Do not get into taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
Avoid crowded places. Limit your activities in public. If you are well and need to run an errand for essential items, be mindful of those around you. If you observe congestion in an aisle, keep moving and wait for it to break apart. Pay attention to where you are in the checkout line and observe social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart. Try to make a list and get what you may need to get you through the length of your voluntary quarantine. Wash your hands before and after any trips.

If you do get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:

Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Avoid contact with others. If you need essential items, make arrangements with a healthy friend, neighbor or family member to drop off items to your home.

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. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

THD encourages all Tulsa County residents to stay informed with information from credible resources such as THD, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Call the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-WELL (9355) during regular business hours or the Oklahoma COVID-19 Hotline at 877-215-8336 which is available 24/7. Spanish-speaking interpreters available.

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