Coronavirus UpdateMarch 5, 2020
Today all of our members received the following email, which contained information and updates about coronavirus (COVID-19):
“With an increasing number of people in the U.S. diagnosed with the virus that causes COVID-19, we’re working closely with local, state and federal health partners to keep you informed. Teams throughout our nation are taking preventative steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) causing worldwide concern.
As of midafternoon March 4*, Illinois has two confirmed cases and two additional “preliminary positive” cases. A preliminary positive is a test that comes back positive at the Public Health Laboratory and is pending confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. At this time, both Indiana and Iowa have zero confirmed and zero preliminary positive cases.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and Illinois has established a COVID-19 hotline, which can be reached at (800) 889-3931 or by email at email@example.com. Indiana residents can call the state’s Epidemiology Resource Center at (317) 233-7125, or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Iowa’s Department of Public Health can be reached at (515) 281-7689 or through email at this site.
As of March 4, Washington has 39 confirmed cases, including 10 deaths. This too is a rapidly evolving situation. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington and what to do if you have symptoms, call the Washington State Department of Health at (800) 525-0127 and press #. Please note that this hotline has been experiencing high traffic and may be temporarily unavailable.
The health risk continues to evolve. These easy actions can protect you and your family from illness:
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid close contact with people who appear sick**
- Stay home if you or a family member is sick
- Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and handrails
Additional precautions include avoiding or postponing international travel plans. As of March 4, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. Visit this webpage for the latest travel recommendations.
At this time, the CDC does not recommend the routine use of surgical masks in public. Individuals with symptoms such as fever and cough should wear a mask to help reduce the spread of germs to others. Be sure the mask properly covers your nose and mouth.
The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to minimize introductions of this virus, detect new cases quickly and reduce community spread of this new coronavirus in the country. While it is unclear how this situation will evolve in the U.S., the CDC is preparing as if it were the next pandemic, while hoping it is not.
For more information about how to prepare for the spread of viruses and steps to take to stay healthy, visit cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/. While these materials reference the flu, the information and actions still apply to COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Additional, state-specific information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found at:
If you have any questions, please contact Member Services by calling the number on the back of your member card. For the latest information and updates from us, please visit HealthAlliance.org/Coronavirus.
We are here to help keep you healthy,
*The number of cases continues to change. For the latest numbers from the CDC, please visit this webpage.
**If you have a mild or minor health condition not related to COVID-19 and wish to avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office or hospital, consider a virtual doctor visit. Your plan may offer a Virtual Visit with a doctor through your Hally™ mobile app or YourHealthAlliance.org account, or you can call our Anytime Nurse Line at (855) 802-4612. Certain group plans may offer alternative platforms for virtual doctor visits. However, please visit a hospital for all serious conditions and call 911 for all emergencies.
If you have questions, please call Client Support at 217-902-8151 or email ClientSupport@healthalliance.org.