- COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, one that has NOT been previously identified.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Call your doctor’s office or emergency room before going to the healthcare facility.
For current information, visit the CDC situation summary page.
Can COVID-19 spread from person-to-person?
- Yes, the illness is thought to spread from person-to-person but good hygiene can prevent infection and the rate of transmissibility.
- The illness spreads through respiratory droplets when a person infected with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes.
- These respiratory droplets can reach the mouths or noses of people nearby and can be inhaled into the lungs.
Can a person spread the virus if they do not feel sick?
- Yes, asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers can spread the virus.
- The main way the virus spreads is through people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
What groups of people are at higher risk for COVID-19?
- People who have underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, Asthma and HIV.
- If possible, consider obtaining a 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medication in case of illness in the residence.
Does COVID-19 live on surfaces?
- Yes, the virus has been reported to be visible on plastic for up to 72 hours but less than 0.1% of the starting virus remains on plastic surfaces.
- For preventative measures, clean commonly used surfaces often with disinfectant or soap. Surfaces include toilets, doorknobs, sinks, light switches, tables, remotes, phones and keyboards.
- For caution, delivered packages should be left outside for 24 hours. Or, the person handling the package should wear gloves, remove the item, discard the packaging it came in and disinfect surfaces that came in contact with the box.
What is community spread?
- Community spread means that people in a geographic area have been infected with the virus including some people who may not be sure how or where they became infected.
How can I limit the spread of COVID-19
- Stand 6 feet away from other people.
- Cover coughs and sneezes on the inside of the elbow or sleeve.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face in public places and wash hands with soap and water immediately when returning home.
- Stay home if sick.
- Older adults need to isolate themselves.
- To help older adults during this time, place food outside of their residence at a safe distance.
Can I clean with bleach?
- Yes, use ¼ cup of bleach per 1 gallon of cold water (there are directions on the label of bleach containers).
- This solution is to be used within 24 hours.
- Plastic toys can be soaked in bleach for 30 seconds.
- Household surfaces should have 10 or minutes of exposure to the bleach solution.
- Bleach is not a substitute for cleansing heads with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
Can I make my own hand sanitizing gel?
- Yes, combine ⅔-cup 90-99% or 60-70% rubbing alcohol with ⅓-cup glycerin or aloe vera gel.
- Thoroughly mix the ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon or whisk.
- If you are using 70% rubbing alcohol, do not add fragrance oil or other ingredients as these will dilute the mixture. It will drop below the CDC’s recommendation of 60% alcohol based hand sanitizer.
Can I still donate blood?
- Yes, there is a severe blood shortage due to blood drive cancellations.
- The CDC is encouraging people who are well to donate blood if they are able.
- Donation centers are working with the CDC to keep donors and staff safe through environmental cleaning practices.
- Donor chairs are spaced six feet apart.
- No cases of COVID-19 have been linked to blood exposure.
Should I wear a facial mask?
- If you are caring for someone with COVID-19, the CDC has provided guided recommendations.
- The supply chain cannot meet the demand of personal protective equipment (PPE) like surgical face masks and N95 respirators.
- Front-line use PPE to protect themselves against the high risk of exposure to infectious respiratory illnesses.
- Hospitals and healthcare facilities are conserving N95s for high risk procedures.
- Due to the global shortage of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, The CDC has loosened their recommendations on face protection for front line health-care workers.
- Since necessary healthcare personnel are turning to single-use, loose fitting surgical face masks which are normally worn by patients, it is important to reserve these for people infected by COVID-19 and healthcare professionals.