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I want to emphasize to all our citizens how vitally important it is for everyone to take the virus outbreak SERIOUSLY and to follow and practice the guidelines designed to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus!

The main point to remember is that everyone needs to stay home as much as possible and only perform ESSENTIAL travel for employment and the welfare of you and your family. 

The more we stay apart from each other, the slower the virus will spread throughout the community.

As of this writing, there are 10 cases in Halifax County and 36 in Northampton County. 

We know these numbers will rise in direct proportion to how many people interact with each other in public places.

This virus affects both older and younger people; it doesn’t discriminate. 

I know younger people feel that they will live forever, but the virus has sickened and killed children and young adults around the country with no other underlying medical conditions.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. 

Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Stay home if you’re sick

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Cover coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in the trash

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Joseph Scherer is city manager of Roanoke Rapids