What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease) is the most recently discovered coronavirus with the outbreak in Wuhan China in December 2019. The reported symptoms for confirmed cases range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure, though not all who become infected will be symptomatic.
Severe symptoms can be emergency warning signs for COVID-19 and should get medical attention immediately.
Emergency warning signs include*:
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.
Who is at Risk?
While the majority of those who become infected will recover with little or no need for medical treatment, a portion of the population is highly susceptible to COVID-19 and have a high mortality rate.
Those in the most danger from this virus are:
Individuals who are over the age of 65.
Anyone who lives in a nursing home or long-care facility.
Those with high-risk health conditions such as chronic lung disease, asthma or heart conditions.
Anyone who is immunocompromised.
How COVID-19 Spreads
COVID-19 is highly contagious and thought to be three times more contagious than Influenza. Proper hygiene including frequent hand washing and social distancing is the most effective way to avoid contracting and spreading the virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 6 feet) or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Slow the Spread
Even the young and healthy are at risk of contracting COVID-19, and your activities can increase the risk for others. Together, everyone must do their part to slow the spread. The following protective measures must be taken in order to "Flatten the Curve".
Wherever possible, work and school activities should be done remotely from home
Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people
Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts. Use drive-thru, delivery and take-out options
Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits
Do not visit nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance
Practice Good Hygiene
Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used items or surfaces
Avoid touching your face
Sneeze or cough in a tissue or the inside of your elbow
Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces often