Get Informed About COVID-19

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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus, so people most likely have no immunity to it. It causes a respiratory illness ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to severe pneumonia.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to what someone may get from a seasonal illness, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, and a decrease in smell or taste.

Most people with COVID-19 will have mild to moderate symptoms. The groups most likely to suffer severe illness are people older than age 60 and those with underlying medical conditions like heart and lung disease or diabetes. Children and adolescents appear to be less likely to experience severe illness.

How is the virus spread?

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

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet).
  • By respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

How do I stay healthy?

The two main ways the virus spreads are either through inhaling the droplets of someone else’s sneeze/cough or touching your eyes, nose or mouth with the virus on your hands.

General preventive measures to help stop the spread of disease include:

  • Stay home when you are sick, even if you have mild symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Wash your hands:
  • Before and after you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • After you cough or sneeze
  • After touching surfaces that are touched often (phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal).
  • Before cooking food, eating, and after going to the bathroom.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands afterward.
  • Clean surfaces that are touched often like phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops, and anything metal.