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Bucks IU holds forum on coronavirus


More than 80 people assembled March 3 at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) in Doylestown to discuss information relating to the flu and coronavirus.

Amongst those attending were personnel from the Bucks County Health Department, Bucks County Emergency Services, all six Bucks County hospitals, all 13 Bucks County school districts and three career and technical centers, Delaware Valley University and Bucks County Community College.

According to a Bucks IU press release, it was shared that there were no known or reported cases of coronavirus in Bucks County or in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at the time of the meeting. It was also shared that the coronavirus is transmitted like the common flu virus and can be eliminated with good cleaning and personal hygiene practices.

As it is currently the height of flu season, the Bucks IU and county schools already practice standard cleaning procedures each day, and the Bucks County Health Department offered assurances that those cleaning procedures will successfully kill the virus on contact surfaces. Procedures are already in place for responding to reports of communicable illnesses, including the coronavirus.

The Bucks County Health Department, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, issues guidance and direction to health care providers and schools when necessary during a potential outbreak situation. The Bucks IU and school districts work directly with these health agencies in order to keep our students, staff, and greater community safe. The Bucks County Health Department will notify the Bucks IU and school districts of any confirmed cases of the coronavirus in our region and will provide guidance and information for distribution to families.

Information about the coronavirus at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found on the CDC website, which is updated frequently with information about the coronavirus. The CDC also offers helpful FAQs about the coronavirus. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Health Coronavirus Website is a good source of information.

Some tips from the website to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as coronavirus, include:

– Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands.

– Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

– If soap and water are not available, use a 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

– Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, electronic devices, remotes and other frequently touched items.

– Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick to help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

“The Bucks IU will continue to facilitate conversations between the county officials, school districts, colleges, universities, and hospitals to keep the community informed about any further developments in this region and any resulting actions that may be necessary,” Bucks IU Executive Director Dr. Mark Hoffman stated.