Help Prevent the Spread

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?


COVID-19 is a new coronavirus not previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses are a category of viruses normally found in animals, but some can evolve and infect humans. Coronaviruses can infect your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. This specific coronavirus was first identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and was officially named COVID-19 on February 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO).

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?


Coronaviruses can cause mild to moderate symptoms
like the common cold. Complications and outcomes of
COVID-19 are still being investigated. Symptoms of
COVID-19 may include:
▪ Runny nose
▪ Headache
▪ Cough

Who is at risk for COVID-19?


The health risk from COVID-19 to the general American
public may change over time as the situation unfolds.
Risk is based on exposure and a variety of factors that
may vary, including the community in which you live,
places you have visited, interactions you have had, and
your line of work.
It is recommended people meeting the following criteria
contact their healthcare provider to be evaluated for
COVID-19:
▪ If you have traveled to an area affected by COVID-19
within the last 14 days OR had close contact with a
person confirmed to have COVID-19.
AND
▪ Developed a fever and symptoms of respiratory
illness, such as cough or shortness of breath.
How is coronavirus spread?
Human coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most
commonly spread from an infected person to others
through:
▪ Close contact (within 6 feet/2 meters);
▪ Respiratory droplets from a person coughing
or sneezing;
▪ Close personal contact, such as touching
or shaking hands; and
▪ Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then
touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing
your hands.

What should I do if I think I have been
exposed to COVID-19?


If you have had close contact (within 6 feet/2 meters)
with someone who is confirmed to have, or is being
evaluated for COVID-19 infection, you should:
▪ Monitor your health starting from the day you first
had close contact with the person and continue for
14 days after you last had close contact with the
person.
▪ Watch for these signs and symptoms:
▪ Fever of 100.4◦F/38◦C or higher – take your
temperature twice a day;
▪ Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
▪ Coughing;
▪ Other early symptoms to watch for are chills,
body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea,
nausea/vomiting, and runny nose.
▪ If you develop fever or any of these symptoms, call
your healthcare provider right away and let them know
about your recent travel or exposure and symptoms.
▪ Sore throat
▪ Fever
▪ General feeling of being unwell

Flattening the Curve

How is COVID-19 treated?


There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, however,
many symptoms can be relieved. Recommendations for
those infected with COVID-19 will depend upon a
person’s individual condition. There is currently no
vaccine available to protect against COVID-19.

How can I protect myself?


Actions that can prevent the spread of more common
respiratory infections, like the flu, are also effective at
preventing the spread of COVID-19. These actions
include:
▪ Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20
seconds; if soap and water are not available, use an
alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least
60% alcohol;
▪ Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with
unwashed hands;
▪ Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
▪ Stay home when you are sick;
▪ Cover your cough or sneeze, with a tissue if possible,
then throw the tissue in the trash; and
▪ Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and
surfaces often.

Should I wear a face mask?

 

Yes, the CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings when in public settings, especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as when visiting grocery stores and pharmacies.

This recommendation is further reinforced by guidance from the California Department of Public Health, in addition to being required by the County of San Diego Public Health Officer Order locally for employees who may have contact with the public, such as people who work at pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, convenient stores, and other businesses that serve food. Face covering should be used in addition to frequent hand washing, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, staying at home, and practicing social distancing when out in public.

These new recommendations come from studies that show that people may be infected with the virus and not show symptoms (“asymptomatic”) or not yet showing symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”).  Thus, there may be a benefit to reducing the spread of COVID-19 if face coverings are worn by those who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. The primary role of face covering is to help block respiratory particles from being released into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes.  Face coverings may also serve as a visual reminder that reinforces social distancing. 

Medical grade face masks should be reserved for those who need them so that the current supply is not impacted—if anyone has extra medical grade face masks or respirators, they can be donated through the COVID-19 Medical Equipment Initiative.  Homemade or cloth coverings are an acceptable alternative and can be washed and reused.  Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth and are intended for use when people go out in public or may be around people outside of their household.  Items such as bandanas, scarves, and neck gaiters can all be used as face coverings. Visit the CDC web page for instructions on how to wear a cloth face covering and for step by step instructions on how to make your own face covering.

Again, people who use face masks or coverings should remember that face coverings are intended to be used in addition to other evidence-based measures such as social distancing, frequent hand washing practices, and staying home except when necessary for essential needs.

How can I prepare myself and my family in
case COVID-19 starts spreading in our
community?


Get your household ready – some steps will be the
same as when preparing for other emergencies:
▪ Store a two-week supply of food and beverages,
including food for family pets.
▪ Ensure an adequate supply of prescribed and routine
medications are on hand.
▪ Plan ways to care for those who are at greater risk
for serious complications and who will take care of
sick family members.
▪ If you have family members with an increased risk of
getting seriously sick, check with your medical
providers about symptoms and treatment.
▪ Create an emergency contact list of family and
friends, teachers and employers.
▪ Have a plan in case your school, childcare facility,
or place of employment closes temporarily.
▪ Talk with your children, family, and friends about what
to do if an outbreak occurs and what each person
would need.

Resources and Materials