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COVID-19: More questions, more answers on myths and facts

March 27, 2020

News of the COVID-19 pandemic response dominates nearly every media platform, including some social media and internet sites where misinformation and myths are circulating. Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and director of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group says it’s important to get information from credible sources.

Watch: Dr. Gregory Poland talks COVID-19 facts and fiction.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Gregory Poland are in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy “Gregory Poland, M.D. / Vaccine Research Group / Mayo Clinic.”

Fact or fiction? Dr. Poland explains in this Q&A:

Q. Can hand dryers kill COVID-19?

A. Avoid hand dryers. The reason for that is that they just increase the air circulation of the viruses as that air, either warm or not warm, is blowing against your hands. That’s been well demonstrated with other viruses.

Q. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine on your body kill the COVID-19?

A. Don’t do that. You don’t want to use those solutions on your body. They are to be used on hard surfaces. For your body, use simple soap and water. The way that soap and water works is really important because it informs how you wash your hands. There are surface tension agents in soap, so it takes away the electrostatic attraction of the virus to your skin, it removes oils and mucous that may be on your body that the virus can live in, and you are by friction literally washing it away with water. And that turns out to be the most effective thing we know.

Q. Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with COVID-19?

A. The nasal rinses have primarily been shown to be effective with sinusitis and with allergies. I don’t know of any direct evidence for that with COVID-19.

Q. Can eating garlic help prevent infection with COVID-19?

A. Only insofar as it makes social distancing easier. There is no evidence that shows garlic protects people from the virus.

Q. Can you protect yourself by gargling bleach?

A. I know that on the internet people have talked about gargling bleach and also putting bleach on cotton plugs and putting it in the nose. That is an extraordinarily dangerous and unhelpful thing to do.

Q. Can antibiotics kill COVID-19?

A. No antibiotic can kill a virus. Antibiotics are only to be used when there is known, documented co-infection with bacteria.

Q. Rural communities don’t need to worry, right?

A. Wrong. I think that is a very dangerous myth, as is the myth that younger people don’t need to worry. This is a serious disease. Let me put it this way. Last week in the U.S., there were 18,000 cases. Today, there are over 85,000 known cases. There is no evidence that this is going to end soon. We are talking about taking these maneuvers for months ― plural ― not weeks. This is a very dangerous. It is rapidly evolving and a very dynamic situation. It is imperative that we decrease human-to-human transmission to flatten this curve so that the hospital and medical system is capable of responding and not overrun. In some of our larger cities, they are preparing tents, refrigerated trucks for the anticipated bodies.

Check the CDC website for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

COVID mental health

Latest updates for Detroit:

detroitmi.gov

Governor Whitmer Signs “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

MARCH 23, 2020 

GOVERNOR WHITMER SIGNS “STAY HOME, STAY SAFE” EXECUTIVE ORDER 

GOVERNOR DIRECTS ALL NON-CRITICAL BUSINESSES TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE, ALL MICHIGANDERS TO STAY HOME OR SIX FEET AWAY FROM OTHERS DURING COVID-19 CRISIS 

LANSING, MICH. — TODAY, GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER SIGNED THE “STAY HOME, STAY SAFE” EXECUTIVE ORDER (EO 2020-21), DIRECTING ALL MICHIGAN BUSINESSES AND OPERATIONS TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND IN-PERSON OPERATIONS THAT ARE NOT NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN OR PROTECT LIFE. THE ORDER ALSO DIRECTS MICHIGANDERS TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES UNLESS THEY’RE A PART OF THAT CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKFORCE, ENGAGED IN AN OUTDOOR ACTIVITY, OR PERFORMING TASKS NECESSARY TO THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THEMSELVES OR THEIR FAMILY, LIKE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL OR GROCERY STORE.  

EFFECTIVE AT 12:01 AM ON MARCH 24, 2020, FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT THREE WEEKS, INDIVIDUALS MAY ONLY LEAVE THEIR HOME OR PLACE OF RESIDENCE UNDER VERY LIMITED CIRCUMSTANCES, AND THEY MUST ADHERE TO SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES RECOMMENDED BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION WHEN THEY DO SO, INCLUDING REMAINING AT LEAST SIX FEET FROM PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE THE INDIVIDUAL’S HOUSEHOLD TO THE EXTENT FEASIBLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. 

“IN JUST 13 DAYS, WE’VE GONE FROM 0 TO OVER 1,000 COVID-19 CASES,” SAID GOVERNOR WHITMER. “THIS IS AN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS THAT REQUIRES ALL OF US WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES AND OUR COMMUNITIES. THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY WE CAN SLOW DOWN THE VIRUS IS TO STAY HOME. I KNOW THIS WILL BE HARD, BUT IT WILL BE TEMPORARY. IF WE ALL COME TOGETHER, GET SERIOUS, AND DO OUR PART BY STAYING HOME, WE CAN STAY SAFE AND SAVE LIVES.” 

“TAKING AGGRESSIVE ACTION TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO TO MITIGATE FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19,” SAID MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES CHIEF DEPUTY FOR HEALTH AND CHIEF MEDICAL EXECUTIVE DR. JONEIGH KHALDUN. “IF WE DO THIS NOW, WE CAN MAKE SURE OUR HOSPITALS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS ARE PREPARED TO TAKE CARE OF THE SICKEST PEOPLE. IT IS CRUCIAL THAT PEOPLE DO THE RIGHT THING BY STAYING HOME AND STAYING SAFE.” 

EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-21 PROHIBITS ALL BUSINESSES AND OPERATIONS FROM REQUIRING WORKERS TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES, UNLESS THOSE WORKERS ARE NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN OR PROTECT LIFE OR TO CONDUCT MINIMUM BASIC OPERATIONS. BUSINESSES AND OPERATIONS ARE TO DESIGNATE THE WORKERS THAT MEET THOSE CRITERIA, AND MUST ADOPT SOCIAL DISTANCING PRACTICES AND OTHER MITIGATION MEASURES TO PROTECT WORKERS AND PATRONS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THAT NECESSARY IN-PERSON WORK. 

WORKERS THAT ARE NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN OR PROTECT LIFE INCLUDE THOSE IN HEALTH CARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PUBLIC SAFETY, GROCERY STORE WORKERS, AND MORE. FOR A FULL LIST OF THESE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS, CLICK THE LINK TO EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-21 AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. 

ADDITIONALLY, UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-21, ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE GATHERINGS OF ANY NUMBER OF PEOPLE OCCURRING AMONG PERSONS OUTSIDE A SINGLE HOUSEHOLD ARE TEMPORARILY PROHIBITED. PEOPLE MAY LEAVE THE HOUSE TO PERFORM FOR LIMITED, NECESSARY PURPOSES, AND MAY ENGAGE IN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES LIKE WALKING, HIKING, RUNNING, CYCLING, OR ANY OTHER RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY, CONSISTENT WITH REMAINING AT LEAST SIX FEET FROM PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE A PERSON’S HOUSEHOLD AND WITH OTHER RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY PRIOR EXECUTIVE ORDERS. 

MICHIGAN IS CURRENTLY IN THE TOP FIVE STATES IN THE NATION IN NUMBER OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES. SEVERAL GOVERNORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAVE TAKEN SIMILAR STEPS TO PROTECT THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, INCLUDING GOVERNORS MIKE DEWINE (R-OH), ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY), J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL), TOM WOLF (D-PA), GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA), JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D-LA), PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ), AND NED LAMONT (D-CT). 

PATIENTS WITH CONFIRMED INFECTION HAVE REPORTEDLY HAD MILD TO SEVERE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS WITH SYMPTOMS OF:    

  • FEVER       
  • COUGH       
  • SHORTNESS OF BREATH       

THE BEST PREVENTION FOR VIRUSES, SUCH AS INFLUENZA, THE COMMON COLD OR COVID-19 IS:  

  • IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, CALL YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, CALL THE NEAREST HOSPITAL.       
  • WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN WITH SOAP AND WARM WATER FOR 20 SECONDS. IF NOT AVAILABLE, USE HAND SANITIZER.         
  • AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES, NOSE, OR MOUTH WITH UNWASHED HANDS.         
  • COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE WITH A TISSUE OR UPPER SLEEVE WHEN COUGHING OR SNEEZING.         
  • AVOID CONTACT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK.         
  • IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY HOME, AND AVOID CONTACT WITH OTHERS.        
  • STAY AT LEAST 6 FEET AWAY FROM OTHERS WHEN IN A PUBLIC SETTING.       

INFORMATION AROUND THIS OUTBREAK IS CHANGING RAPIDLY. THE LATEST INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT MICHIGAN.GOV/CORONAVIRUS AND CDC.GOV/CORONAVIRUS   

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STATE’S ACTIONS TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS, PLEASE CALL THE COVID-19 HOTLINE AT 1-888-535-6136 BETWEEN 8AM – 5PM DAILY.   

MICHIGANDERS CAN APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IF THEY HAVE LEFT WORK OR TAKEN A LEAVE OF ABSENCE BECAUSE OF SELF-ISOLATION OR SELF-QUARANTINE IN RESPONSE TO ELEVATED RISK FROM COVID-19 DUE TO BEING IMMUNOCOMPROMISED, DISPLAYING THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, HAVING CONTACT IN THE LAST 14 DAYS WITH SOMEONE WITH A CONFIRMED DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19, THE NEED TO CARE FOR SOMEONE WITH A CONFIRMED DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19, OR A FAMILY CARE RESPONSIBILITY AS A RESULT OF A GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVE. THOSE TEMPORARILY LAID OFF FROM WORK SHOULD APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS ONLINE AT WWW.MICHIGAN.GOV/UIA OR 1-866-500-0017.  

GOVERNOR WHITMER IS WORKING TO ENSURE THAT CHILDREN WHO RELY ON THE FOOD PROVIDED BY SCHOOLS WILL HAVE THE RESOURCES THEY NEED. THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (MDE) HAS DEVELOPED AN ONLINE MAP FOR FAMILIES TO FIND MEALS. FAMILIES CAN ACCESS THE MAP AT: WWW.MCGI.STATE.MI.US/SCHOOLNUTRITION/. 

ON MARCH 19, THE U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) APPROVED THE GOVERNOR’S REQUEST FOR A STATEWIDE ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL) DECLARATION, OPENING THE OPPORTUNITY TO SMALL BUSINESSES TO ACCESS LOW-INTEREST LOANS FROM THE SBA. THE APPLICATION FOR DISASTER LOAN ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE AT DISASTERLOAN.SBA.GOV/ELA/. FOR BUSINESSES LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO APPLY FOR AN SBA EIDL LOAN OR WHETHER IT IS SOMETHING THEY SHOULD CONSIDER, VISIT MICHIGANBUSINESS.ORG/COVID19. 

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MORE NEWS THAT YOU CAN USE & THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO AT HOME

Michigan State Coronavirus Updates Available at www.michigan.gov

Opportunities for Online Diversions:

FREE online courses from the top universities in the world at mooc.org

FREE, FUN online activities and learning programs for youth and children of all ages at worldbookonline.com

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Pan African Orthodox Christian Church

National Office: 8045 Second Avenue ~ Detroit, Michigan 48202

March 24, 2020

Below is a non-exhaustive list of information and resources. This list has been compiled for informational purposes only, and is intended to save the user time in locating helpful information. Attempts will be made to periodically update this list.

United Way Resource: Community Economic Relief Fund
United Way has a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund. They will help with bills, rent, and food. Call 1-866-211-9966, and provide your zip code to receive a list of local agencies to provide assistance.

Detroit Water and Sewage (DWSD)
If your water is off or you received a door hanger notice for nonpayment, call Wayne Metro at 313-386- 9727 to enroll in the Coronavirus Water Restart Plan. Under a jointly-developed plan, the State of Michigan will cover customers’ costs to restore water service for Detroiters who: – Had their water service recently interrupted due to non-payment; or – Received a door hanger notice that you are at risk of service interruption for non-payment. After the restart, through the Plan, customers will be responsible for paying $25 per month to keep water service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers in the Plan, will not need to pay your full bill and any past due amount until after the COVID-19 situation passes. After the outbreak, customers will be responsible for the full bill. However, households will be enrolled in either WRAP or the 10/30/50 Plan to help you keep water service affordable. If your water is off or you received a door hanger notice for nonpayment, call Wayne Metro at 313-386-9727. For more information visit: detroitmi.gov/WaterRestart.

DTE:
To help customers whose lives are being disrupted, DTE is suspending shutoffs for non-payment for those customers who are lower-income eligible, beginning March 16, 2020 through April 5, 2020. Timing could be extended based on the impact that the virus has on our communities. Customers are encouraged to contact call 800-477-4747 to determine eligibility for DTE’s payment assistance program. Those customers enrolled in DTE’s Senior Winter Protection Program have had their dates extended through May 3, 2020 without any additional actions required on their part.

Comcast:
Comcast has announced a comprehensive COVID-19 response to help keep Americans connected to the Internet: offering free unlimited data, opening #Xfinity WiFi network nationally for free, waiving late fees, and helping low-income families get connected. corporate.comcast.com/covid- 19?linkId=84300756 for all of the information.

 Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.

 Pausing Our Data Plan: Comcast is pausing its data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.

 No Disconnects or Late Fees: Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if the customer contacts Comcast directly to make arrangments.

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 Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low- income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.

DPSCD (UPDATE):

Please be advised that DPSCD has restructured the student food distribution process due to the Governor’s “shelter in place” mandate and to better protect the safety and health of employees. Beginning on Thursday, March 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., a revised list of 17 schools (see below) will offer students/families a bag of four pre-cooked breakfast meals and four pre-cooked lunches. Food distribution will continue every subsequent Monday and Thursday at the 17 schools. On Monday, three pre-cooked breakfast meals will be provided along with three pre-cooked lunches. On Thursdays, once again, four pre-cooked breakfasts and lunches will be provided. Students/families can pick up the food at any of the 17 sites. Monday and Thursday door to door delivery will still take place for medically fragile DPSCD students. This plan will allow DPSCD to also offer more meals to students and throughout the entire week. It will also reduce the number of employees needed for distribution and social contact. Meals will be provided in the front of schools for student/family pick up.

1. Denby
2. East English Village
3. Fisher Upper
4. Law
5. Martin Luther King
6. Pershing
7. Southeastern
8. Brenda Scott
9. Cass
10. Central
11. Charles H. Wright
12. Cody
13. Frederick Douglass Academy 14. Mumford
15. Munger
16. Renaissance
17. Western

For more information visit: www.detroitk12.org/domain/5833 RESOURCES FOR SENIORS:

Please call Rev. Tene Ramsey, Senior Citizens Outreach Coordinator at (313) 516-3168.

HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER RECIPE:

www.bridgemi.com/michigan-health-watch/how-make-your-own-hand-sanitizer-during- coronavirus-shortage

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