Coronavirus Alert

Public health officials – including the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our local Health Departments – are closely monitoring an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and reported in December 2019. Infections with 2019-nCoV are being reported in a growing number of countries across the world, including five confirmed cases in the United States, all of whom have had recent travel to China.

2019-nCoV is a new virus that has not been previously identified by public health officials. As a coronavirus, it comes from a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals.

Symptoms of 2019-nCov can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. If you experience symptoms, do not wait to visit your doctor and follow their instructions.

How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection to is avoid being exposed to this virus. However, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like 2019-nCov, as well as influenza and the common cold, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. Alternatively, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as keyboards, mobile telephones and steering wheels.

Metro has convened the Pandemic Task Force to monitor and respond to the situation. We are working closely with health officials including the DC Health Department and the CDC.

We will continue to provide updates to employees.

Employees who have additional questions or concerns should refer to the CDC web site at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV.

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What if I cannot get a birth certificate or other necessary documentation?

For various legitimate reasons, some members may have difficulty providing necessary documentation. In this case, it is important that you apply for coverage within the time periods outlined for each plan. Only then will the merits of your unique situation be considered. Contact the Health and Welfare office for more information.

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