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null Excellus BCBS statement on COVID-19

Excellus BCBS statement on COVID-19

For Immediate Release:  2020-03-03

Contact:  Jim Redmond, (585) 238-4579, jim.redmond@excellus.com

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is monitoring developments involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) and what it means for those we serve. We are in contact with local, state and federal health officials.

Given that the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website remains the best resource for up-to-date information, especially if you are planning to travel or have just returned from traveling.

Information about COVID-19 can also be found at the New York State Department of Health’s website. If you live outside New York State, please check with your state’s health department.

We’ll share updates as things develop.

In the past few months the coronavirus has spread from China to dozens of countries around the globe. The virus is contagious, and it can be fatal for a small percentage of those who become ill.

It is possible that the virus could result in a pandemic, which is the worldwide spread of a new disease. Health experts say there’s the potential of disruptions to usual life and work activities.

We are preparing now to be as ready as possible if that happens. You should too. It means plan, but don’t panic.

Here are steps you can take now to help prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and warm water, for at least 20 seconds (parents often tell children to sing the song “Happy Birthday” twice). Soap and water are more effective than sanitizing gels, but sanitizing gels are better than nothing.

  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your elbow

  •  Wash your hands as soon as possible after sneezing or coughing

  • Stay home if you are not feeling well, especially if you have a fever

  • Avoid close contact with people who show signs of being ill

  • Clean surfaces that get touched frequently – such as phones, door knobs, kitchen counters and bathroom faucets

  • If you show early signs of illness, like a fever or dry cough, call your doctor’s office, but don’t necessarily head straight to the emergency room or urgent care, where you could infect others.

Practicing good health habits every day helps to keep our community healthy.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult your doctor for advice about changes that may affect your health.

For more information on how to prevent the spread of flu-like viruses, click to view a downloadable infographic from Excellus BCBS. 

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit ExcellusBCBS.com.