Coronavirus (COVID -19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that was first identified in China. It is highly contagious and includes symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Centers of Disease Control reports that the risk of getting the coronavirus within the United States is low. However, that determination may be inaccurate as widespread testing in the United States has yet to occur. Further, and as you are aware, additional cases have been identified in a growing number of locations within the United States and within other international locations.

Knowing how to protect yourself is key. Here are three tips:

  1. Keep it clean
  2. Clean your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching surfaces in public areas, and especially if you are around someone who isn’t feeling well. Also, keep your hands away from your face, especially the mouth, nose and eye area.

    Don’t forget to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects. I.e., Doorknobs, faucets etc.

  3. Avoid contact with sick people
  4. The virus can spread from person to person primarily through coughing and sneezing. As such, you may be at greater risk if you have recently traveled to regions where there are currently outbreaks of the virus or if you come into contact with someone who has the virus.

    Consequently, avoid close contact with people who are sick and avoid traveling to locations where there are outbreaks of the coronavirus. And if you get sick, stay home to avoid spreading the virus to others. Symptoms typically appear within 2 to 14 days after exposure.

  5. Contact Teladoc
  6. There is no vaccine for coronavirus at this time, but if you have symptoms of the virus, contact Teladoc and their doctors can evaluate your risk and help with next steps when necessary.

    Remember, Teladoc doctors are there 24/7 and the benefit is free to active members of the Lake County Indiana NECA – I.B.E.W. Health and Benefit Plan. Therefore, if you have symptoms or questions about the coronavirus, do not hesitate to reach out to them.

    If you need to speak to a Teladoc physician, call 1-800-835-2362 or visit Further, if you have not downloaded their app already, do so now. You can get their app through the Apple app store or get it on Google Play.