COVID-19 Coronavirus Resources & Information
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently impacting the U.S. and has been declared a global pandemic. See below for a list of resources to keep you informed.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus strain originating in Wuhan, China that has since spread globally, with the largest outbreaks in China, Western Europe, Iran, South Korea, and now the United States. The virus causes a respiratory illness that can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath between 2 and 14 days of exposure. Death is possible in the most severe cases, with a mortality rate currently sitting between 3 and 4%. The most vulnerable populations are older adults, the immunocompromised, and people with serious chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
The virus is spread easily from person-to-person, transmitted through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Someone can become infected when they breathe in these respiratory droplets, or when they touch a surface or object (such as a hand or doorknob) with the virus on it and then touch their face.
The two foremost sources of information on the virus are the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (here) and the World Health Organization (WHO) (here).
The CDC has a page specifically related to the outbreak in the United States here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
WHAT TO DO ABOUT COVID-19
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly, as suggested by the CDC
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. Coughing into your elbow rather than your hand or the air greatly reduces the number of respiratory droplets in the air
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care
- Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces daily, as suggested by the CDC
If you fall ill with symptoms similar to COVID-19:
- Immediately call ahead to your doctor or other healthcare provider. Special arrangements may need to be made if you are one of the first cases in your area
- Again, stay home when you are sick, except to see medical help
Travel during outbreaks:
- The CDC strongly recommends against non-essential travel to any of the areas currently experiencing outbreaks
- For those traveling the CDC and WHO both have guidelines and recommendations for how to reduce your risk, here and here
Image source: BBC News
LOCAL INFORMATION ON COVID-19
For the Alabama response to the virus, see the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) page on the topic here. For general inquiries, the ADPH can be reached at this number: (334) 206-5347
Local school responses:
Answers to common myths about COVID-19
MedlinePlus guide to COVID-19 symptoms, testing, and facts about "treatments"
Time your handwashing to these 20-second song choruses