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Seniors with chronic illness urged to avoid attending large gatherings

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Posted at 7:26 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 08:06:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Health Department announced Wednesday morning it is updating its guidance for attending large gatherings and events in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

According to a news release from the health department, director and chief medical officer Dr. Virginia A. Caine said seniors with a chronic medical illness such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease should reconsider attending large public gatherings, such as festivals, sporting events and other activities where large crowds gather.

Caine also recommended staying at least six feet away from other people to further reduce the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.

The health department also recommended other ways people can reduce the spread of the coronavirus and the flu:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Wash hands after touching surfaces in public places.
• Avoid touching the face, nose or eyes.
• Routinely clean and sanitize frequently-touched surfaces at home and work.

Additionally, Caine said anyone who feels sick and has potential symptoms of the coronavirus, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, should stay home and call their doctor or medical provider.

Anyone with questions about the coronavirus can call the health department's hotline at 317-221-5500.