What Is CoronaVirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 (formerly known as “new corona virus”) is a new strain of virus that can be spread from person to person. Now the virus has appeared in the United States and many other countries, after originating from China.
How Is The New Corona Virus (COVID-19) Spread?
Medical experts are still learning more about how this virus is spread. Now, this virus spreads through:
- Saliva drops when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- Between close contacts (within 6 feet)
- Touch an object or surface containing the virus, then touch your own mouth, nose or eyes
What Are The Symptoms?
People diagnosed with this new coronavirus have reported that symptoms can appear as early as 2 days or as late as 14 days after exposure to the virus:
Instructions For Those At High Risk Of Severe Illness From This Virus
The Department of Public Health encourages people at high risk for the effects of the virus to try to stay home and away from the crowd as much as possible. People at high risk include:
- People over 60 years old
- People with underlying or chronic illness including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
- People with impaired immune status
- People who are pregnant
Anyone with questions about their health status and risk of being seriously affected by the COVID-19 virus should consult their health care provider.
Instructions For The School
Data on cases of COVID-19 infection indicate that children and adolescents are not at high risk of being seriously affected by this virus. We consider the potential benefits and negative effects of school closure when giving incentives. The Department of Public Health discourages school closures at this time. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 virus infection, the Department of Public Health will work with that school to determine the best next steps including school closure. We will provide schools with information on how to stay safe when opening schools.
Some children and school staff have an underlying condition, such as a weakened immune system, which puts them at higher risk for COVID-19. Caregivers of children with underlying medical conditions should talk to their health care provider about whether these children should be kept at home.
Guide For Workplace And Business
Businesses should take the following steps to help their employees minimize close contact with many people.
- Maximize remote working options for employees.
- Encourage employees to stay home when sick.
- Maximize the flexibility of sick leave entitlements for those who are ill or are recommended at home because they are at high risk.
- Arrange different start and end times to reduce the number of people coming to work at the same time.
Consider Events And Gather Crowds
During this period when an outbreak is occurring, if you can avoid gathering large groups, consider postponing events and gatherings. If you cannot avoid organizing large groups, please:
- Encourage the sick to not participate.
- Encourage those at high risk to be affected by COVID-19 to not participate.
- Find ways to help participants have more personal space to avoid close contact as much as possible.
- Encourage participants to practice good prevention practices, such as washing their hands frequently.
- Clean surfaces regularly. Basic cleaning products that can kill COVID-19.
Instructions For Everyone
You can reduce risk to yourself, and more importantly, to people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 by:
- Stay home and don’t go out when you are sick.
- Avoid visits to health facilities unless necessary. If you are sick, call your doctor before going to a medical facility.
- Even when you are not sick, avoid visiting hospitals, long-term care facilities or nursing homes. If you need to visit these facilities, limit the time there and pay attention to stand 6 feet away from the patient.
- Do not go to the emergency room unless necessary. Emergency services should be prioritized to meet the most essential needs. If you have a cough, fever or other symptoms, call your doctor first.
- Practice good personal hygiene habits, including washing your hands with soap and water regularly, coughing into tissues or elbows, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay away from sick people, especially if you are at high risk for COVID-19 infection.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g. door handles and light switches). Household hygiene products can effectively kill viruses.
- Rest, drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and manage stress levels to keep your immune system strong.
If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms Or Questions, Please Call:
- World Health Pedia New Corona Virus Support Center, 206-477-3977. This helpline is open from 8 am to 7 pm daily.
- Washington State New Corona Virus Support Center, 1-800-525-0127 and press #. This helpline is open from 6 am to 10 pm daily.
The operator can connect you with an interpreter. You need to tell the operator in English what language you need assistance with the interpretation. You may have to wait a long time before being answered.