COMMUNITY INFORMATION

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus disease 2019, is a new virus that causes fever, cough, and shortness of breath. While 80-85% of individuals infected with COVID-19 appear to have mild illness, the virus can cause severe illness including pneumonia in high risk populations like older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions. COVID-19 has affected a large number of people across multiple continents and is being transmitted simultaneously worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

There are many different types of coronaviruses that are known to cause human illness. This virus is able to be passed person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an ill individual coughs or sneezes. The virus can also survive for a limited time on commonly touched surfaces. At this point, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion or inability to arouse

  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

How can I protect myself?

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Stay home as much as possible

  • Put distance between yourself and other people.

    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.

 

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.

    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.

  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

More details: Cloth Face Covers

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

  • Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

Clean and Disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Where can I get more information?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. There is an abundant amount of information available on the internet. However, please be mindful that the information is from a reliable source. Here are a few websites that you can get more information:

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