Coronavirus: What You Need to Know
BERRYVILLE, VA (March 11, 2020) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia Department of Health, and Lord Fairfax Health District are closely monitoring the international outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) and are working with health-care partners at the local, state, and federal levels.
Coronavirus is a respiratory illness spread from person to person. First detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, exposure in the United States remains relatively low (as of March 11, 2020) because precautions were taken early to restrict travelers from the host area and other highly infected countries. The CDC is posting regular updates on cases in the U.S.
These COVID-19 symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
Call your doctor (a) if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or (b) have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of coronavirus. If you believe you may be contagious, do not walk unannounced into an emergency room or a doctor’s office. Call ahead so health-care providers can make arrangements to meet you separate from others patients.
There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus. Health officials at all agencies advise you take the same steps as you do to prevent the spread of the common cold and flu. The best way to prevent such illness is to avoid exposure.
- 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. Or, cough/sneeze into your elbow.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Here is more information about handwashing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. CDC does not recommend facemasks for people who are well. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. Facemasks are also crucial for health-care workers and people who are caring for someone in close settings.
Do not rely on social media, news broadcasts, or friends for information about the coronavirus. Go to the following sources for accurate information about the disease in the U.S.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The CDC answers frequently asked questions about the coronavirus.