MIAMI – City of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo held a news conference Monday morning, at which time an infectious disease expert spoke about the effect and potential impact of the coronavirus in South Florida.
The expert, Dr. Aileen Marty, also spoke about the precautions that residents should take to avoid contracting COVID-19.
Carollo said the coronavirus may change some day-to-day things that most people do, but that it shouldn't be a major disruption to everyday life.
“I will say to you that while we should not panic, and I'll repeat that, we should not panic, we surely have to take a lot of precautions, and we are all going to have to change some of the ways that we have been used to doing things in life,” Carollo said.
The commissioner went on to say that the ways people greet each other may have to change, such as shaking hands or giving a kiss on the cheek.
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Dr. Aileen Marty then said that those changes are necessary so the public can get ahead of the virus in an effort to contain it.
When asked when someone should wash their hands and when they should use hand sanitizer, Marty said people should wash their hands when practical.
“Don’t touch your face if your hands are contaminated. If you’re going to eat, wash your hands and then eat,” she said.
Marty said she has been in contact with colleagues in Europe, Africa and elsewhere, assessing the latest developments on the outbreak.
“I want to assure you that we in Miami-Dade, of course the City of Miami included, are working arduously day and night to come up with a series of solutions,” she said.
The Florida Department of Health has advised residents to self-isolate for 14 days if they have traveled to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in the past 14 days.
Those who become ill during self-isolation are asked to call their local health department.
The Health Department has advised those who have traveled anywhere else internationally or have been on cruises to limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the U.S.
Symptoms of the virus may appear in two to 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.