2019 Coronavirus/COVID-19

This page includes information on what the symptoms of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 are, as well as how to manage your risk. It also includes articles with advice on how you can prepare.

7 Steps to Protect Yourself and Others

How to make your own hand sanitizer

What you can do to reduce your risk

Reduce Your Risk

  • Try to avoid being around sick people and try to avoid being around others if you are sick.
    • If you are able, stay home from work if you are sick or have a fever.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (Sing the ABC Song slowly) many times throughout the day, especially after touching surfaces in public places.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol between hand washing.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow, tissues, or items of clothing - not your hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces that you touch frequently--this includes your phone, door knobs, railings, counter tops, remote controls, cabinet handles and light switches.
  • If you are sick, wear a mask when in public to help avoid spreading germs. 
  • If you are healthy, wearing a mask is only useful if you are coming into close contact with other sick people.
    • Masks are not as good at reducing infection as washing your hands.

Help Flatten the Curve through Social Distancing

  • Be sure to maintain a supply of medications, food, and other essentials in your house.
  • Cancel or postpone large gatherings, conferences and sporting events (e.g. events with over 50 people).
  • Reduce in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness. Consider offering video or audio of events.
  • Consider tele-learning or tele-work opportunities, where feasible.
  • Limit non-essential work travel.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently, and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
  • Limit visitors at hospitals and other facilities to only those who are absolutely necessary and implement screening of visitors for temperature and respiratory symptoms.

General Symptoms and Risk from COVID-19

General Symptoms

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with high fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs include:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

People Most at Risk

While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons (especially over age 60) and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others. Those with compromised immune systems are also at higher risk. 

How does the disease spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 3 feet away from a person who is sick.

What Should I Do If I Feel Sick?

Follow the recommended guidelines provided by the CDC here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

What to Do if You Get Sick
  • Stay home and call your doctor
  • Call your healthcare provider and let them know about your symptoms. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow CDC instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.
  • Know when to get emergency help
  • Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the emergency warning signs listed above.

Hotlines/Websites for local health systems and health departments:

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