Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

From The Desk of President Barbara A. Perkins
Dear IBWPPI Members,


In our Board of Directors’ Retreat and Strategy meetings held last weekend in Atlanta Georgia, we agreed to be the conduit for credible information to you regarding the updates on the Coronavirus. Please read the information on the background of the virus and recommendations that we have gathered from credible sources.


The seriousness of the epidemic has called us to send you timely, accurate information, some of which you may or may not be aware of. We must be diligent in sharing key information and we ask that you do not discount any of the information. Read it and share it as best you can and as wide as you can. I have asked our staff to send an update every two weeks, or as often as we find necessary, for an extended period of time.


Please keep us up to date on how we can support or partner with you to ensure our communities are informed and prepared. If there’s critical information you have received regarding the Coronavirus that you would like for us to publicly disseminate, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


Barbara A. Perkins, President



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading national public health institute, describes COVID -19 as a respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. You can learn more about the disease from the CDC’s COVID-19 factsheet .

COVID-19 has infected over 80,000 people worldwide since it was discovered in late December. More than 2,700 of those infected have died, primarily in mainland China. As of March 6, 2020, there were 200 confirmed cases in the United States. Those numbers continue to rise daily. In February, a Solano County woman hospitalized in Sacramento became the first American to test positive for the disease without a connection to foreign travel.


Preventative Action

Below are some action steps to prevent Coronavirus infections. The CDC recommends several practices to reduce the chance of contracting coronavirus or spreading it to others in the workplace . In accordance with this guidance, its recommended that you:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Avoid handshaking. Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

Stay home if you are sick

  • Avoid going into the office and infecting others. Employees who have signs of acute respiratory illness or fever should not come into work until they have gone at least 24 hours without symptoms and without taking medication meant to artificially depress those symptoms.
  • If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more! 

Practice basic hygiene

  •  To help stop the spread of germs, keep tissues at hand and use them to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in a waste basket. If no tissue is available, sneeze into your upper sleeve, not into your hand.
  • Use soap and water to wash hands after using the bathroom and after coughing or sneezing. At least 20 seconds of hand washing is most effective.
  • If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands.
  • Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

Perform routine cleaning

Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, workstations and countertops.

Be cautious in making travel plans 

Consult the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance regarding travel to foreign countries.


What IBWPPI is Doing

The International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) aims to be a conduit for credible information on the Coronavirus epidemic. Our plan is to continuously educate the public around preparedness and what steps to take for prevention and treatment. We are currently reaching out to our constituents abroad to effectively respond to this international crisis.

Our organization was invited to present at a human trafficking panel discussion in conjunction with United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (Session 64) in New York City . The session was canceled along with other parallel events in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a precaution, IBWPPI has cancelled planned international 

travel in 2020 for the foreseeable future. We will keep you updated on our next steps and action items.


Centers for Disease and Prevention


Occupational Safety and Health Administration


World Health Organization

CDC COVID-19 factsheet 

CDC Traveler’s Health Notices


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