Thursday, March 12th, 2020
With the rising public health concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19), the American Composers Forum (ACF) is committed to the health and wellness of our large national community.
We are paying close attention to the national and local news about COVID-19 so that we can stay informed and provide a supportive, responsive, and safe environment for everyone.
What is COVID-19?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
How is it spread?
Person to Person
COVID-19 is believed to be most commonly spread between people who are in close contact with one another through sneezes and coughs. People are most contagious when they appear to be the sickest (symptomatic).
- Shortness of Breath
From a contaminated surface or object
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
What the ACF is doing?
ACF is doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are taking the following precautions which we also recommend to our broader national community:
We encourage our employees and visitors to:
- wash their hands frequently.
- avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
- cover their mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then disposing of the used tissue immediately.
- stay home if they feel unwell, which will also protect them and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
We are aware that not everyone has the privilege of doing so, but ACF is a flexible work environment which allows for our staff to work remotely when necessary.
We are also assessing our upcoming events and panels, and will communicate decisions based on the most up-to-date information available and the comfort level of our community members.
At ACF, we understand that coping with COVID-19 can be stressful; we also suggest reviewing these recommendations from the World Health Organization regarding mental health related to the illness.
We hope that presenting up-to-date, fact-based information will prevent the social stigmas that can often occur during an outbreak like COVID-19. This is not a geographic or racially-specific issue.
We encourage community members to stay updated by using these resources with information on COVID-19:
- WHO Coronavirus webpage
Here are some additional resources for our nonprofit partners.