IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Local health officials say the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, could make its way into our communities at any time.
They say now is the time to properly prepare to prevent it.
"Whenever you start talking about a pandemic virus, people are very prone to be very concerned," said Jarred Morton Program Director community hospital.
When disaster could be heading our way, we prepare but not always in the best way, according to local health officials.
"We don't need to panic. The United States isn't going to run out of food. I was just briefly in Sam's Club over the weekend and I noticed that a lot of staples were sold out. Things like flour, rice, and even spam, I couldn't believe it. Spam was sold out," said Richard Nathan, an infectious disease specialist at the Community Hospital of Idaho Falls.
It's good to have some food in the house, but there are more immediate priorities, said Morton.
"The absolute most important thing you need to do right now is to focus on basic handwashing," said Morton.
"Doctor's offices are encouraging hand washing," said Nathan.
"Proper hand hygiene," said Shawn Speirs hospitalist at the community hospital.
If you heard it once you've heard it million times.
The Community Hospital of Idaho Falls is taking further steps to get beyond the hype and mania of the coronavirus.
"I think information is the biggest thing we're doing right now. We're working in concert with Eastern Idaho Public Health we're looking at the recommendations from the CDC. We are ready if and when a patient does come with coronavirus," said Morton.
If you're worried and think you might have the virus it's important to know what information to tell your doctor.
"It's going to be typical history as far as exposures history. Know where you have traveled let us know if you've been in any of these areas where there are cases. Know their own personal symptoms. Have they been coughing or they short of breath, do they have a fever, chills and that kind of stuff," said Speirs.
Dr. Nathan shows the proper way to wash your hands in the video above. He shows how to put on the soap, how long to scrub it in and how to lather around your hands to get all the hidden places.