Coronavirus Facts First: Afternoon of March 17, 2020

Coronavirus Facts First

NEWS 8 WROC VIDEO — As coronavirus continues to dominate headlines locally and beyond, it’s important to isolate what is fact, and what is fiction.

That’s why News 8 WROC is expanding beyond the traditional newscast to deliver the news that matters the most to the people that matter to us: you, the viewer. Each week day we’ll be doing an extended, online-only digital newscast that compresses the daily coronavirus headlines into one place.

Coronavirus: Facts First

Afternoon of March 17, 2020

Now 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, 79 in mandatory quarantine

There are three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, bringing the total local amount to 14 as of Tuesday morning.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza made the announcement at 10 a.m.

Locally, 79 people are in mandatory quarantine. Of the 14 cases, five people are hospitalized.

Health officials say they will be testing 16 people Tuesday. Officials also say they will begin delivering daily updates at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day.

Gov. Cuomo: 432 new COVID-19 cases in New York for 1,374 total statewide, 12 deaths so far

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday 432 new cases of COVID-19 in New York, bringing the statewide total to 1,374.

New York remains No. 1 in the nation in confirmed cases; Washington state is No. 2 with 904, according to the governor’s office.

“This is an extraordinary time in this nation’s history,” Cuomo said. “It will go down in the history books as one of those moments of true crisis and confusion and chaos.”

Cuomo also said there are now 12 coronavirus-related deaths in New York state and among the 1,374 confirmed cases, 264 have required hospitalization — 19% of cases.

To date, 10,049 people have been tested in New York.

“The numbers are staggering,” Cuomo said.

During Tuesday’s press conference, the governor discussed the state’s approach to reducing the spread of the virus: Testing, containment, mitigation, and a focus on the health care system.

Trump wants quick checks sent to public in virus response

President Donald Trump wants the government to send checks to Americans in the next two weeks in an effort to curb the economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

“The president has instructed me we have to do this now,” he said at the White House briefing. He didn’t give details except to say the amount should be significant and millionaires would not get it. The proposal requires approval from Congress.

“We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly,” Mnuchin said. The stock market rose during the briefing after a savage drop Monday.

The White House on Tuesday was asking Congress to approve a massive emergency rescue package to help businesses as well as taxpayers cope with the economic crisis that is paired with the pandemic.

Mnuchin planned to outline that roughly $850 billion package to Senate Republicans at a private lunch, with officials aiming to have Congress approve it this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, opening the Senate on Tuesday morning, promised swift action.

“The Senate will not adjourn until we have passed significant and bold new steps above and beyond what the House has passed to help our strong nation and our strong underlying economy weather this storm,” McConnell said.

Bigger than the 2008 bank bailout or the 2009 recovery act, the White House proposal aims to provide a massive tax cut for wage-earners, $50 billion for the airline industry and relief for small businesses.

Coping with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak

These are difficult times for everyone, but it is important to recognize that each person will react differently to the stress of the situation. This is not a matter of strength or weakness. How each of you reacts to stressful events is based on your background, the things that make you different from other people, your set of beliefs, your community, and your level of support. 

The next few weeks will be even more difficult to navigate. Things are changing rapidly, and the heightened media attention can add to the fear and anxiety that you may already be experiencing. You hear directives asking you to practice social distancing, stay home whenever possible, wash your hands frequently, and take additional precautions that can easily be perceived as drastic and therefore alarming.

These measures can also be very disruptive, especially if you have children in the home. Being asked to work from home is another novelty that you are not used to. Even though we hear that the virus does not affect children in the same way as our elderly, fear extends to adults and children alike. Effectively managing stress and anxiety during these difficult times will be helpful to you and your family.

Some level of stress and anxiety is normal and even expected during difficult times.  However, toxic stress and undue panic is never helpful, and it is important to be mindful of its warning signs. Anxiety is very common, and anyone can be affected by it.

If you are worried about the situation, feel nervous, on edge, or occasionally fear the worst, that is likely to be normal. On the other hand, if you start having frequent anxiety attacks, are unable to sleep at night, or if you find yourself being angry and irritable with others, your level of anxiety is starting to interfere with your daily life and you need to address it somehow.

5- Tips for addressing COVID-19 anxiety:

Limit exposure to news and social media

Of course, this cannot be an all or nothing situation. Some level of information is necessary to keep you and your family safe. However, constantly checking the news and sensationalized stories on social media is never helpful, as you would be exposing yourself to a constant stream of the collective fears of others.

Create a new routine for yourself and family

School closings, telework, social distancing and the avoidance of crowds or public places are only a partial list of the new living reality we all need to adjust to for the next few weeks until our health officials can be convinced that the spread of the virus has been under better control. These new realities cause significant disruption in our daily routine. Our daily schedules add a sense of predictability and therefore some comfort to our lives. Disrupting this routine can be anxiety provoking to some more than others. One way to manage such anxiety is to re-create a new routine and a new schedule with daily activities for yourself and your family; embrace the new reality and use it to catch up on much needed family time. You can find helpful information and additional tips on managing anxiety and stress from COVID-19 on the CDC website.

Maintain your connection with others

Use phone contact and video chat to connect with others on a regular basis. Try to avoid commenting on news reports and headlines. Instead, reach out for support and share with each other tips on what has been helpful to you that may also help your friends, your colleagues or your loved ones. 

Address the anxiety of the children in your home

Although children seem to be less affected by the COVID-19 virus, they can be vulnerable to the stress and anxiety present around them. Schools are closed and children no longer have access to their friends. Their routine has been upended as well.  They will have questions that need answered in a simple and factual manner.  Refer to the COVID-19 CDC webpage for further information.

Use anxiety relieving and distraction strategies

  • Some suggestions include:
  • listening to music
  • watching your favorite show
  • reading that book that you never had the time to start
  • create a daily exercise routine that can be done at home

You may also wish to try one of the mindfulness apps available on line such as headspace or calm. Of course, each one of you know of strategies that have helped you during times of stress and it would be important to use those.

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