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Local health leaders working to stay ahead of virus

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MARION (WSIL) -- As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, health leaders in southern Illinois are taking steps to limit the spread of the virus here at home.

Carrie Eldridge with the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department says health departments in the area are working together to prepare for illnesses like COVID-19.

"We just want to make sure that everyone is prepared, our hospitals, our local health departments... As of right now, the risk is low, as far as the coronavirus in this region. But you always want to take the necessary steps to, for prevention of any kind of virus, and in particular coronavirus."

Srini Gundala, owner of Sunshine Gardens, says his assisted living facility is already accustomed to preventing the spread of viruses that pose a risk to its residents, especially during flu season.

"We always go over the general practice of how to be more clean during these days, like using the antibacterial handwashes as frequently as possible, and also we have a very good sanitization program."

Eldridge says the same tactics you would use for the flu, can help limit the spread of COVID-19.

"As with anything, stay home if you're sick. Wash your hands is probably the most important thing, and of course, cover your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze."

She says symptoms can include fever, runny nose, and a cough.

"The public can always refer to the Illinois Department of Public Health, or the CDC to get more information on the coronavirus, if they have any questions. There is lots of information that they can find out about coronavirus."

Eldridge says the elderly and those who are immunocompromised are the most susceptible to the coronavirus.

John Ross

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