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Asia International Community Health Center helping patients stay safe amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 18:09:34-05

CLEVELAND — A group that provides services to the Asian community in Northeast Ohio is serious about protecting their patients, and they are taking several precautions to help them stay healthy.

"We've been collaborating with the various public health organizations as well as the world health organization on steps that we can take to make our patients more safe and respond to the risk," said Elaine Tso, CEO of Asia Services in Action.

Tso's organization has two community health centers in Northeast Ohio, one in Akron and another in Cleveland. Most of their patients are from Asia and Tso says some of them are traveling for Chinese New Year.

While no confirmed cases have been reported in our station, two possible cases of coronavirus are being investigated in a Miami University student and his traveling companion.

RELATED: State health officials investigating 2 possible cases of coronavirus in Ohio

"People are traveling from China to visit family members here in the United States as well as having been here in the United States and traveling to China and coming back," she said.

On almost every wall of the health center, there's warnings about the coronavirus.

"We have an infographic throughout our community health center showing people what they need to do effective hand washing, if you're going to sneeze make sure you sneeze into your elbow those types of things, precautionary measures just to be safe, extra safe," said Tso.

They are also screening patrons before they see a doctor.

"They definitely are asking at the front desk about recent travel — anybody that comes in with cold symptoms should have a mask on, which we do give them," said family nurse practitioner Jamie Kenney.

Tso says although their is no official threat in this area, she's not taking any chances.

The current coronavirus outbreak is a respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel, or new, coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, according to the CDC. Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it is currently unclear how easily the virus spreads between people. Other parts of China have had cases among people who traveled from Wuhan.

Ohio and local authorities are taking steps to ensure any cases of the disease are reported, although officials say Cleveland is currently at low risk.

RELATED: Local, state health officials taking steps to prevent coronavirus, report possible cases