Health officials in Travis County talk about how you can protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott is providing an update on protecting vulnerable populations from COVID-19. 

Dr. Escott is holding a brief press conference outside the Austin Public Health Department Operations Center in South Austin around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11.  The press conference is expected to be about preventative measures against COVID-19 coronavirus in order to contain the spread of the disease. 

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The Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt and Gov. Greg Abbott are also urging Texans to continue taking preventative measures against COVID-19 coronavirus in order to contain the spread of the disease.

DSHS always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

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Expressing alarm both about mounting infections and slow government responses, the World Health Organization declared Wednesday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic but also said it's not too late for countries to act.