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COVID-19 (new coronavirus) Rumor Control
COVID-19 Home COVID-19 Resources COVID-19 Online COVID-19 Closings COVID-19 Rumor Control
 

If you heard a rumor or have a question about something you heard or read, email it to Brian Gleason at Brian.Gleason@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.


Adult Day Care Centers

Rumor: Adult day care centers are closing.
Adult daycare centers in Charlotte County may be closing on an individual basis voluntarily—contact your center for updates.

Age

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

The World Health Organization advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

Are older people and those with existing conditions the only ones at risk for coronavirus?
Older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of serious illness. But anyone can become sick, and symptoms can range from mild to severe regardless of how old you are or if you have other medical conditions.


Ambulances

Rumor: It is not safe to take ambulance and be admitted to the hospital.
You will not be exposed to COVID-19 or any other infectious diseases if you need to go to the hospital by ambulance. Charlotte County Fire & EMS staff are performing self-health and wellness checks multiple times daily to ensure they remain healthy and able to continue assisting our community. After transporting any patients with symptoms of any infectious disease or illness, the ambulance, equipment, and stretcher are wiped down and thoroughly decontaminated before the crew and ambulance responded to another call. 

Your safety and the delivery of quality, compassionate care remains our top priority and the top priority of our local partners at the hospitals. The hospitals are always prepared to respond to all infectious diseases, whether measles or flu and they have made thorough preparations to handle any potential incidences of COVID-19 safely.

We all take seriously our role in helping to keep our community healthy and caring for you, your friends, and your loved ones.

Antibiotics

Rumor: Antibiotics will kill the new coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for the new coronavirus, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.


Boca Grande Causeway

Rumor: The Boca Grande causeway may be closing to non-residents and non-essential personnel. 
False. The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority is not closing the bridge/causeway and lacks the authority to do so unless so ordered by the governor. According to the GIBA website, the authority is not accepting cash payments, only GIBA passes and credit cards. For more information , visit GIBA.us.


Chlorine/Alcohol

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.

Rumor: Alcohol ban.
False. As of March 29 there is no ban on alchohol in Charlotte County.


Cell Phone Tracking

Rumor: Charlotte County is tracking our cell phones to see if we are social distancing.
False. Charlotte County does not access or use cell phone data to track residents or visitors.


Climate/Weather

Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.

The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather and in colder climates.

 

Colleges/Universities

Florida colleges and universities online courses are being expanded, some campus areas such as libraries and food service may be open. For information about each of the 12 state universities, visit https://www.flbog.edu/2020/03/26/university-information-on-covid-19-2/

For information about state colleges, including Florida SouthWestern State College and State College of Florida, visit http://www.fldoe.org/em-response/ and scroll down to Florida College System Closures


Curfew

Rumor: Charlotte County has a nighttime curfew in effect.

False. The Charlotte County Commission on March 17 declared a local state of emergency in response to the new Coronavirus outbreak, but it does not include a curfew. A curfew, if enacted, would be widely publicized in the media and on the county's website and social media portals.


Employee Testing

Rumor: Businesses remaining open are required to test their employees for the new coronavirus.

False. Business are not required to test employees.


Face Masks/Face Coverings

In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms. A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings (grocery stores, for example). Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. View Cloth Face Coverings Guidelines


Fitness Centers/Gymnasiums

Fitness Center and Gym businesses may reopen as of May 18, 2020, per Exec. Order 20-123

Food and Supplies

Should I stock up on food and supplies?
Please only buy what your family needs for a week. Buying weeks or months of supplies in advance leads to shortages and makes it difficult for other families to take care of themselves. Consumer demand has been exceptionally high, especially for groceries, cleaning supplies, and healthcare products. Supply chains haven’t been disrupted, but stores need time to restock.


Garlic

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.


Hand dryers

Rumor: Hand dryers can kill the new coronavirus
Hand dryers are not effective in killing the new coronavirus. To protect yourself against the new coronavirus, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Dry thoroughly using paper towels or a warm air dryer.


Helicopter Spraying

Rumor: Five helicopters will spray disinfectants into the air to eradicate the Coronavirus.
No spraying of disinfectants from helicopters is occurring in Charlotte County. Mosquito control will continue to spray areas with adulticide for control of mosquitoes as needed.


Lockdown

Rumor: The president ordered a national lockdown.

False, the presidents has not ordered any lockdowns, and definitely not a national one. All people should follow Centers for Disease Control guidance about social distancing, staying home from work if you are sick, avoiding unnecessary travel and hand washing. Visit CDC.gov for more information.

Rumor: Charlotte County is on a mandatory lock down and we have to have a work pass to go to work and the only time we can leave is if we have doctor appointment, work or shopping for food.

False. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide Safer At Home order effective April 3, and extended to May 4 and is still active in Exec. Order 112. Work passes are not needed, essential businesses can remain open and residents can shop, work in essential businesses, visit doctors and veterinarians, exercise outdoors and attend religious services under Centers for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing. 

Lifespan of virus

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).


Medicine

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. The World Health Organization is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners.


Medicare

I’m on Medicare, and someone offered me a COVID-19 test if I provide my Medicare information. Should I accept?
If you receive any calls like this, please know that it is a scam to get your private personal information. Beneficiaries are being targeted in a number of ways, including telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits. Do not give out your Medicare, Medicaid, or Social security numbers. And be cautious about any unsolicited requests for your personal information. If you think you need to be tested for the Coronavirus, please call your doctor, who can advise you on what tests you may need.

Mosquitoes

Rumor: Mosquitoes can transmit the new coronavirus.
The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites. The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

 

National Guard

National Guard deployed for testing at long-term care facilities in Charlotte County beginning Monday, April 20 were reassigned to another community. No timeline for their arrival in Charlotte County has been provided. The Department of Health will continue to perform testing and provide supplies and support for the facilities. Gov. Ron DeSantis has deployed Florida National Guard units to expand testing capabilities in facilities around the state. 

 

Packages

Rumor: The virus can be transmitted on packages shipped from China or elsewhere.
There is a rumor the virus can be transmitted on packages shipped from China or elsewhere. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

 

Pets

Rumor: Pets can transmit the new coronavirus.
Only a few pets have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. Currently, the risk of pets spreading it to people is low. Learn more


Physical Activity

Will Charlotte County parks be open?
Yes. The open-space areas in Charlotte County parks are open, along with the trails, boat ramps, dog parks, and baseball, softball, soccer, football fields, fishing piers, disc golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball courts and beaches (No organized activities permitted). All other amenities are closed, such as playgrounds, recreation centers, the swimming pools, etc. For information, visit the Closings and Restrictions webpage.


Restaurants

Per Exec. Order 20-123, Restaurants are allowed to reopen, with full outdoor seating. Indoor seating is allowed at 50 percent of building capacity. On-site sale and retail businesses will be allowed to operate at 50 percent occupancy. 

The Charlotte County Commission passed an ordinance on May 5 to allow restaurants temporarily to expand outdoor dining in parking lots and adjacent or communal property. The order expires June 4 unless extended. Restaurants must register with the Community Development Department before beginning operations permitted under the ordinance by emailing the restaurant name, location, contact information and a description of the outdoor seating arrangements to zoning@charlottecountyfl.govMore information


Rumor: You can get the coronavirus if you eat at Chinese restaurants in the U.S.
You can't. By that logic, you'd also have to avoid Italian, Korean, Japanese and Iranian restaurants, given that those countries have also been facing an outbreak. The new coronavirus doesn't just affect people of Chinese descent.

 

Saline nasal spray

Rumor: Saline spray prevent new coronavirus infections.
There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.

 

School closures

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is recommending the state's K-12 public schools remain closed until the end of the school year. For Charlotte County, this is May 28. E-Learning will continue until the end of the school year. Parents and Students can find resources for E-Learning on www.yourcharlotteschools.net. Champ's Cafe is providing free meals while schools are closed.


Stimulus Package

Is the government sending everyone money?
A stimulus package has been passed by Congress to help Americans in need. Find information at the IRS. Unfortunately, scammers are using COVID-19 to take advantage of people. Don’t trust anyone who tells you they can get you money now. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has more information about government scams, including COVID-19 scams.


Thermal scanners

Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus.

However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever.

 

UV lamps

Rumor: UV lamps can sterilize skin
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.

 

Vaccine

Rumor: Vaccines for other viruses protect you from the new coronavirus.
Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.

The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and the World Health Organization is supporting their efforts.

Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.

For more questions and answers about the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, visit www.CDC.gov, www.FloridaHealth.gov, www.who.int.

Sources: Florida, Florida Department of Health, Florida Board of Governors, Florida Board of Education, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Water

Is my water safe?

Yes, your tap water is safe. The World Health Organization states that COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water. Additionally, Charlotte County Utilities follows regulations set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the treatment of public drinking water. Our water treatment process ensures that your drinking water is disinfected and free of any pathogens, including viruses. EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual.

Is it transferred through wastewater/sewage?

At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through wastewater is thought to be low. Although transmission of COVID-19 through sewage may be possible, there is no evidence to date that this has occurred.


What is going on at Sears?

The space formerly occupied by Sears in the Port Charlotte Town Center mall is being used by Charlotte County Emergency Management to assist with organizing resources. It is not open for shopping, donations, or dispersing goods.



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