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Meals on Wheels won't use volunteer drivers due to coronavirus concerns

The seniors who rely on the service will still receive the meals they need.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Nutrition and Services for Seniors, which runs the popular and well-known 'Meals on Wheels' program, is making some changes to keep seniors safe.

In order to limit the number of people who have contact with the high-risk population, the program is temporarily suspending the use of volunteer runners. Don't panic, seniors will continue to get the meals they need. 

"We do not want anyone to panic. We want our seniors to be assured that we are still here. We still have boots on the ground. We have provisions in place, even if we have to go to a shelter in place," said Janci Kimball, the president of Nutrition and Services for Seniors. 

Staff drivers will pick up the slack. They'll deliver all meals every other day, bringing a hot meal for that day and a frozen meal for the next day.

 Every senior who depends on this service will continue to get the meals they need. 

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

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Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

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Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

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Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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