Preventing Coronavirus: Legislators Implement ‘Handshake-Free Zones’ On Capitol Hill
Mar 5, 2020, 1:09 PM | Updated: 1:25 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Although COVID-19 hasn’t hit The Beehive State, Utah lawmakers are still implementing a rule aimed at preventing coronavirus: No handshakes during the legislative session.
The novel coronavirus is rapidly changing the norms of how people interact with each other. Throughout the Captiol Building, signs are posted stating “Handshake-free Zone,” and there’s plenty of hand sanitizer as well.
Representative Suzanne Harrison who is also a Doctor talks to @KSL5TV about the “no hand shake” rule during legislative session over concerns of #COVIDー19. Details on @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/u1ZNV9TKRy
— Felicia Martinez (@FeliciaKSL) March 5, 2020
“Just in terms of day-to-day, I think it’s a good rule to just start implementing until we have a handle of what the status of his potential virus situation is,” said Rep. Suzanne Harrison (D-Sandy).
Instead of shaking hands, leaders are encouraging elbow bumps. It’s the same practice being utilized by legislators in Washington, D.C.
Harrison, who is an anesthesiologist, said taking steps to protect ourselves is wise. However, we shouldn’t alarm ourselves, either.
“It’s important to take precautions, minimize handshaking, if you need to cough, cough in your elbow (and) not into your hand,” she said. “These are just some off the common sense precautions that we are taking up at the Capitol to minimize the chance of really any bacterial or viral spread – specifically about the concern of coronavirus.”
The Utah Department off Health has launched an information hotline for those with COVID-19 concerns. Anyone worried about whether they may have contracted the coronavirus can call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707.
Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is COVID-19? Here’s What You Need To Know To Stay Healthy: ksltv.com/432037/what-is-covid-19/
Latest coronavirus stories from KSL can be found at ksltv.com/coronavirus/.
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The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.