BP Adams, City Officials Share Tips to Stave Off Potential Coronavirus Outbreak


As fears grow over a potential outbreak of coronavirus in New York City, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), along with representatives from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge New Yorkers to stay informed but to continue on with everyday business as usual. 

The Novel Coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has infected over 6,000 people worldwide and killed 132 in 16 different countries. The virus, which can take up to 14 days to show symptoms, will often present itself as a common cold, and can quickly escalate into a stronger set of symptoms such as high fever and pneumonia. 

While there have been no cases of the disease reported in NYC, many residents fear that heightened travel in and out of China due to the recent Chinese New Year holiday means that an outbreak could be inevitable. 

BP Adams makes a point. Photo by Owen Maldonado

Adams, speaking at the Chinese-American Planning Council, 4101 8th Avenue in Sunset Park, assured all in attendance that a community-wide response is underway with support from city leaders that will target both vulnerable communities and everyday New Yorkers. “The goal is information and a heightened sense of awareness,” says Adams, while highlighting some of the simple steps anyone can take to protect themselves and those around them from falling ill. 

“The best tool is soap,” says Adams. “Wash your hands and wash them well.”

This tip and others will appear on flyers being distributed by the city in English, Spanish, and Chinese. They are very similar to ways that people can protect themselves from the common cold or the flu. The posters, designed under guidance from the CDC and DOHMH, also recommend avoiding contact with farm animals and ensuring animal-based products are cooked thoroughly.

Dr. Neil Vora, an epidemic specialist at the CDC, says that while there is still a lot for experts to learn about this particular strain of coronavirus, that it’s important to avoid misinformation about the virus that may be spreading through social media. “This information can lead to the stigmatization of groups of people which is exactly what we want to avoid,” he says. 

For now, Vora states that there is no cause for New Yorkers to avoid taking the subways or going out to restaurants.

City’s Flyer detailing how to protect yourself from coronavirus. Photo by Owen Maldonado

“Live your life as you normally would,” he says, ensuring the city has a very high level of preparedness to handle a potential outbreak of any size. “We’re going to be very forthcoming and make sure that people have the information they need.”

“If it does hit the ground here then we can limit the exposure,” says Adams. “It does not have to be inevitable that it spreads.” 

Anyone that is experiencing flu-like symptoms and has traveled to Wuhan or other parts of mainland China in the last 14 days should alert their primary care provider to ensure that their safety and the safety of other patients can be managed.