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The original item was published from 3/5/2020 3:14:57 PM to 3/28/2020 2:36:01 PM.

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Posted on: March 5, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Township first responders prepared for threat of coronavirus

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Though no cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have been reported in Western Pennsylvania, Township first responders are prepared if that changes.

Officials with Cranberry Township Emergency Medical Services and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services updated Township Supervisors at their Thursday meeting on how they are preparing for any potential issues.

Township EMS are in constant contact with Butler County EMA, and weekly updates are discussed. The Department has numerous face shields, masks and hazard suits, acquired in the wake of the Ebola epidemic in 2014. Additionally, training on infectious disease has been increased, as has hands-off removal of protective gear.

The departments are also coordinating with the Seneca Valley School District.

The virus produces flu-like symptoms, including mild to severe upper respiratory symptoms that can appear with or without a fever. The elderly are most prone, particularly those with underlying health conditions.

Generally, the risk for the average American to contract the virus is low.

To stop the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control recommends getting a flu shot and washing hands frequently and thoroughly. Those who are sick as advised to stay home.

As of this week, the risk assessment for the region is low, though precautions are still urged as it is also currently peak flu season.

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