What is a novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

How does Coronavirus COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 can spread:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

A person may get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. Surface or object exposure is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Additionally, COVID-19 can be community spread which means means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. 

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure, range from mild to severe, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath

How can I protect myself and others?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so the best way to protect yourself and others is to avoid being exposed to the virus. 

Everyday preventative actions can help, including: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, etc. daily using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty

What is social distancing?

According to CDC, social distancing is "remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible."