What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, SARS-COV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome, coronavirus 2). Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which can cause disease in both humans and animals. Data suggest that elderly people and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be at the greatest risk from this disease. There is currently no vaccine.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
Health officials are encouraging individuals to take the following steps to help prevent spreading:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs. A list of COVID19-fighting products can be found here.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- If you can work from home, please do so.
- Practice social distancing: stay home as much as possible. When outside of the home, maintain a six foot distance between you and people who are not your family.
- When outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering. This is especially important in areas where maintaining healthy physical distancing is difficult, such as the grocery store or post office.
If you are volunteering or bringing groceries or other goods to a person in need, please watch this video from the Health Department to learn how to do so safely.
Prepare your household for COVID19. Guidance can be found here.