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As West Manheim Emergency Management continues to monitor the COVID-19 here is the latest from the Pennsylvania Department of Health:

The PA Department of Health is urging anyone who has symptoms of a temperature over 100 F, shortness of breath or cough to CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.  Doctors will help determine if symptoms are in line with COVID 19 and require a test.  If people do not have a primary care doctor, they are asking for you to CALL YOUR LOCAL ER and not just show up.  If they believe symptoms are consistent with COVID 19 they will take the proper precautions ahead of time.  Healthcare providers are now authorized to order a test without consultation.  There are commercial labs who are working with providers and health systems and they will provide testing, specimen collection and transport.  There are currently 2 commercial labs doing this and more will be participating by the beginning of next week.  Hospitals are also developing their own in-house tests so they can be done at that location.

The easiest way to prevent exposure is to practice good hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If you do not have soap, hand sanitizer works.  Clean surfaces frequently, including steering wheels and car keys.  If you have to cough, cough into your elbow, not into your hands.  Maintain safe distances from others and avoid large crowds.  The biggest reminder here is to remain calm.  Through proactive hygiene methods and following the direction set forth by the state and health department, we as a community can help reduce the spread of the COVID 19 virus.

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