COVID-19 FAQ

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What are the signs/symptoms of COVID-19 and when do they appear?
Shorter Answer

1. Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
2. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
3. The disease is often much more severe in the elderly and people with predisposing conditions that make them more susceptible to illness.

Longer Answer


1. Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

• Many people with COVID-19 have a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract infection similar to a cold.
• Common symptoms include a cough, sore throat, headache and fever that can last for a couple of days.
• People who test positive for COVID-19 commonly have had very mild or no symptoms.
• Symptoms of COVID-19 in severe cases can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties, and can be fatal.
• Older people and people with predisposing medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, are more at risk for becoming severely ill from COVID-19.


2. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

• The time between when a person is exposed to an infectious agent (like the virus that causes COVID-19) and when symptoms appear is called the incubation period.
• The current incubation period of COVID-19 is based on what has been seen previously with other coronaviruses like MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
• Our understanding of the incubation period of COVID-19 may change as more data become available.


3. The disease is often much more severe in elderly and people with predisposing conditions that
make them more suspectiable to illness.

• The mortality rate for COVID-19 varies depending upon existing health conditions, age, gender, and access to care.
• The severity and mortality of COVID-19 are difficult to determine when new cases and data are being reported daily.
• The mortality rate for COVID-19 is less than that for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
• COVID-19 illness may be more severe in places where health resources are limited or overburdened by the outbreak.

Does COVID-19 affect children and adults differently?
Shorter Answer

1. Youth appears to offer partial protection from COVID-19.
2. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases around the world are people ages 30 to 79.
3. All age groups should engage in everyday preventive actions to avoid COVID-19 infection.

Longer Answer

1. Youth appears to offer partial protection from COVID-19.

• Children age 10 and under account for just 1% of all COVID-19 cases.
   - Through mid-January 2020, no children in Wuhan, the epicenter of the Chinese outbreak, had contracted COVID-19.
• Young adults and teens do not appear to be contracting COVID-19 at significant rates.
   - Only about 8% of COVID-19 cases are those in their 20s and only about 1% are in their teens.
• It is still uncertain why young people have only mild or no symptoms from COVID-infection.
• Adults may be able to contract COVID-19 from children.


2. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases around the world are people ages 30 to 79.


• Being elderly and having other illnesses greatly increases the risk of dying from COVID-19.
• The World Health Organization mission to China found that nearly 80% of COVID-19 cases were people ages 30 to 79.
• The Chinese Centers for Disease Control has reported that the fatality rate for people 80 or older is over 14%.
• Higher COVID-19 cases and deaths among the elderly appears to be linked to presence of other diseases, a weaker immune system, poor overall health, or weakness of the       respiratory system.
• Older people with underlying lung disease appear to be particularly vulnerable to becoming infected with COVID-19.


3. All age groups should engage in everyday preventive actions to avoid COVID-19 infection.


• Much is still unknown about COVID-19 including how easily it spreads from person-to-person and how many infected people develop severe illness.
• COVID-19 is behaving in some ways like seasonal flu, including demonstrating that standard measures to prevent spread can be effective.
• Preventive actions to avoid infection include cleaning hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding close          contact with people who are sick.

What about pregnant women and COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Initial studies indicate COVID-19 does not pass to a fetus during late pregnancy or cause severe health outcomes in a newborn.
2. Information regarding COVID-19 in pregnant women and the developing fetus is very limited.
3. As true for the general U.S. population, the risk for pregnant women to COVID-19 is very low.

Longer Answer

1. Initial studies indicate COVID-19 does not pass to a fetus during late pregnancy or cause severe
health outcomes in a newborn.

 

• An initial study also found that symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnant women were similar to those reported in non-pregnant women.
  - Initial findings are based on a small number of cases, over a short period of time, and only included women who were late in their pregnancy and gave birth by caesarean            section.
• The health effects of COVID-19 on mothers infected during the first or second trimester of pregnancy are currently unknown.


2. Information regarding COVID-19 in pregnant women and the developing fetus is very limited.
• Coronaviruses in general have the potential to cause severe harm to pregnant women and their developing child.
• During pregnancy, the possibility of serious illness from virus infections is greater because the body’s immune system is weakened.
• SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) caused severe complications among women who were infected during                pregnancy.
• Based on similarities to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), pregnant women could be at increased risk of severe infections and illness.


3. As true for the general U.S. population, the risk for pregnant women to COVID-19 is very low.

• Influenza remains a much greater risk to pregnant women in the U.S. than COVID-19.
• Pregnant women who believe they could have been exposed to COVID-19 should inform their doctor.
• When a woman is pregnant, her immune system changes, making her more susceptible to respiratory illnesses.

• Pregnant women with influenza are ~ 3.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than non-pregnant women.

Can pets and livestock be infected with COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 can cause illness in animals.
2. There is no evidence that animals or pets in the U.S. are carrying COVID-19.
3. Much remains unknown regarding the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and illness in pets and livestock.

 

Longer Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 can cause illness in animals.

• Coronaviruses are common in several species of domestic and wild animals, including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and others.
• Coronaviruses are a large family of diseases and are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface.
  - Examples of coronaviruses that infect humans include common colds, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Disease) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
• Some coronaviruses, such as COVID-19, are zoonotic, meaning they normally exist in animals but can be transmitted to humans).


2. There is no evidence that animals or pets in the U.S. are carrying COVID-19.

• There has been only one global report of a pet testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, but the test was considered to be only “weakly positive”.

• It is not yet known if COVID-19 can infect or cause illness in dogs, cats, or livestock.


3. Much remains unknown regarding the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and illness in pets and livestock.

• It is always safe to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with animals.
• Washing your hands protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between animals and humans.

How is COVID-19 different from the flu and common cold?
Shorter Answer

1. Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 illness are similar to influenza.
2. Most coronavirus infections in people cause very similar types of respiratory illness.
3. Confirmed COVID-19 illness has ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.

Longer Answer

1. Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 illness are similar to influenza.

• The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
• People with COVID-19 can progress to high fever, difficulty breathing, and even pneumonia.
• Different viruses can cause similar symptoms or types of illness.
• Since initial symptoms are often similar to some of the symptoms of colds and flu (e.g., cough and fever) laboratory tests are required to know if a person has a COVID-19.


2. Most coronavirus infections in people cause very similar types of respiratory illness.

• In some mild cases, COVID-19 causes runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fever.
• Laboratory tests are needed to determine if someone has COVID-19.
• Doctors are still trying to understand the full picture of disease symptoms and severity caused by COVID-19.


3. Confirmed COVID-19 illness has ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.

• For confirmed COVID-19, reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
• The death rate for COVID-19 is still unclear, but estimates from initial studies are higher (up to 3.4%) than that of seasonal flu (which is under 1%).
• If you have not been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and have only mild symptoms, you should proceed as if you have a cold or influenza.

How deadly is COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Older people and those with predisposing medical conditions are more likely to to have severe illness or die from COVID-19 than others who contract the virus.
2. Increasing COVID-19 cases show fewer people experiencing severe illness or death.
3. Experts believe the COVID-19 is less fatal than the SARS coronavirus.

Longer Answer

1. Older people and those with predisposing medical conditions are more likely to have severe illness
or die from COVID-19 than others who contract the virus.

• Symptoms of COVID-19 can be more severe for older people and those with predisposing medical conditions.
• Symptoms of COVID-19 can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties.
• COVID-19 can, rarely, cause severe illness that is deadly.
• Being elderly and having other illnesses greatly increases the risk of dying from COVID-19.
  - The World Health Organization mission to China found that nearly 80% of COVID-19 cases were people ages 30 to 79.
  - The Chinese Centers for Disease Control has reported that the fatality rate for people 80 or older is over 14%.
• Higher COVID-19 cases and deaths among the elderly appears to be linked to presence of other
diseases, a weaker immune system, poor overall health, or weakness of the respiratory system.
• Older people with underlying lung disease appear to be particularly vulnerable to becoming
infected with COVID-19.


2. Increasing COVID-19 cases show fewer people experiencing severe illness or death.

• The majority of COVID-19 cases are mild.
• Initial studies indicate that less than 15% of hospitalized patients for COVID-19 are severe.


3. Experts believe the COVID-19 is less fatal than SARS coronavirus.

• The severity and mortality of COVID-19 are difficult to determine when new cases and data are being reported daily.
• The mortality rate for COVID-19 varies depending upon age, and gender, as well as access to care.
• Mortality rate for COVID-19 is less than that for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
• COVID-19 illness may be more severe in places where health resources are limited or overburdened by the outbreak.

What is the difference between the virus that causes COVID-19 and other coronaviruses that already are circulating in the U.S.?
Shorter Answer

1. Many types of coronavirus circulate in the U.S. population.
2. Most circulating coronaviruses cause only mild respiratory illness or the “common cold.”
3. Most COVID-19 illnesses are mild, although some people have severe illness and death. 

Longer Answer

1. Many types of coronavirus circulate in the U.S. population.

• Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans.
• There are several coronaviruses that are common in people.
• The coronaviruses that are circulating in the U.S. and the world cause 10% to 30% of upper respiratory tract infections in adults.
• Neither SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) nor MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome), both of which are caused by coronaviruses, are circulating in the U.S.


2. Most circulating coronaviruses cause only mild respiratory illness or the “common cold.”

• The coronaviruses already in the U.S. usually cause a mild upper respiratory infection.
• Some coronaviruses can infect the lower respiratory tract, like the lungs, thus causing more serious and sometimes deadly illness.
• Person-to-person spread of the corona virus that causes COVID-19 may occur in a fashion similar to other coronaviruses, mainly via tiny droplets from an infected person’s          coughs or sneezes.
• Unlike most coronavirus circulating in the U.S., the coronavirus causing COVID-19 has been found to cause both upper and lower respiratory tract infections.


3. Most COVID-19 illnesses are mild, although some people have severe illness and death.

• Most people with COVID-19 appear to have had mild illness or symptoms, while some have been very ill.
• Unlike other coronaviruses circulating in the U.S., the coronavirus causing COVID-19 can produce a severe respiratory illness, including severe pneumonia, respiratory failure,    and death.
• Some people who get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 have no symptoms.
• People who have mild or no symptoms are unlikely to know if they are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

How infectious is the virus that causes COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads similarly to viruses that cause the common cold.
2. How easily the virus spreads from person-to-person appears highly variable.
3. Much is still unknown about the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads similarly to viruses that cause the common cold. 

• The virus that causes COVID-19 is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through close contact with an infected person.
• The virus can be spread through droplets that are created when a person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
• People infected with COVID-19 appear to be most infectious when they are most ill.

• It appears an infected person without symptoms can also transmit the virus that causes COVID-19.

2. How easily the virus spreads from person-to-person appears highly variable.

• Since most cases of COVID-19 are mild, the disease may be more widespread than current testing numbers indicate.
• As more people are tested, experts will better understand the extent of COVID-19.
• Scientists have estimated that one infected person could spread COVID-19 to approximately two or three other people without effective mitigation measures.
• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected person.

3. Much is still unknown about the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

• Based on currently available data, people who have symptoms are causing the majority of virus spread.
• Research is needed to learn more specifics about how the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread, including if it spread from touching contaminated surfaces.
• Effective prevention and control of COVID-19 will be difficult if the virus can be easily transmitted to other people.
• If experts identify many more cases, guidance and control strategies may need to change.

Can you get a COVID-19 from mail packages or imported goods that arrive from infected areas?
Shorter Answer

1. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported from packages or imported goods.
2. Studies suggest that most coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.
3. The risk of catching COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is believed to be low.

Longer Answer

1. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported from packages or imported goods.

• Experts believe there is no risk of COVID-19 from shipped products or packages.
• If you think a package may be suspect based on factors like origin, clean it with disinfectant.


2. Studies suggest that most coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.

• Survival of COVID-19 on surfaces appears to behave like other coronaviruses.
• It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces.
• Virus survival varies under different conditions, such as type of surface, temperature, or humidity.


3. The risk of catching COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is believed to be low.

• People receiving packages from countries with confirmed COVID-19 are unlikely to be at increased risk of infection from the package or packaging.
• The likelihood of a person with COVID-19 contaminating commercial goods is believed to be low.

How can people avoid or reduce social stigma associated with COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Stigma can be as dangerous as the virus that causes COVID-19.
2. A virus can infect anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, country, or beliefs.
3. People can stop stigma.

Longer Answer

1. Stigma can be as dangerous as the virus that causes COVID-19.

• Viruses are a threat to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or the country one lives in.
• Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease with a specific geographical region.
• Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the virus that is causing the problem.
  - Stigmatization of special populations, such as the homeless and non-English speaking people, can spark dangerous incidents.

2. A virus can infect anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, country, or beliefs.

• Ancestry does not make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19.
• People should not assume that wearing a face mask implies COVID-19.
  - People wear face masks for many reasons, including air pollution and pollen.
• As COVID-19 continues to spread in the U.S. and the world, any person could become infected and get sick.
 

3. People can stop stigma.

• Speak up if you hear, see, or read misinformation or harassment.
• Show compassion and support for those most closely impacted.
• Report harassment.
• Avoid prejudicial language and actions that imply blame.
• Share accurate information and cautious about images that reinforce stereotypes.
• Share stories of people experiencing stigma and the damage it can do.

How effective are travel restrictions and quarantines?
Shorter Answer

1. Travel restrictions and quarantines help limit the spread of contagious disease.
2. Travel restrictions and quarantine measures can help public health authorities control outbreaks.
3. Effective travel restrictions and quarantine alone may not stop disease spread.

Longer Answer

1. Travel restrictions and quarantines help limit the spread of contagious disease.

• Travel restrictions and quarantines give public health officials important tools for limiting the person-to-person spread of a contagious disease.
• The primary purpose of a travel restriction is typically to restrict the geographical movement of people who are, or may be, infected with an infectious disease and thus the             geographic range of contact with the disease.
• The primary purpose of a quarantine is typically to separate from the general population individuals who may have been exposed to an infectious disease but who are not ill.

 

2. Travel restrictions and quarantines measures can help public health authorities control outbreaks.

• Travel restrictions and quarantines help limit and slow the transmission of cases in the general population by preventing exposures to infected individuals.
• Travel restrictions and quarantines facilitate contact tracing, i.e., the process of tracking down individuals who were in contact and may have been infected by someone                 confirmed to be sick.
• For a new virus for which much is unknown or uncertain, travel restrictions and quarantine measures give scientists more time to understand the virus, develop testing                  mechanisms, and explore treatment options.
• Travel restrictions and quarantines reduce strain on treatment facilities and health care providers.


3. Effective travel restrictions and quarantine alone may not stop disease spread.

• Public health strategies, including social distancing measures, such as school closures or cancelling large public gatherings, may be needed to limit the spread of disease.
• Travels restrictions and quarantines are typically less effective when people are infected with a disease but do not display signs or symptoms of illness.
• If used excessively, travel restrictions can limit and restrict the movement of needed and critical goods and services, such as prescription drugs and personal protective                equipment.
• Travel restrictions and quarantine can result in stigmatizing people.

Should I be concerned about travel within the U.S.?
Shorter Answer

1. It is understandable that people are concerned about traveling.
2. The current health threat of becoming infected while traveling domestically is low.
3. The best way for travelers to prevent COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene and minimize close contact with infected persons.

Longer Answer

1. It is understandable that people are concerned about traveling.

• People are concerned because COVID-19 is a new disease infecting large numbers of people in numerous countries.
• People are concerned because of the increasing number of travel advisories.
• People are concerned because of the increasing number of countries impacted.
• People are concerned because air travel presents the opportunity for getting sick due to an often crowded and confined environment.


2. The current health threat of becoming infected while traveling domestically is low.

• Few cases of COVID-19 related to domestic travel have been confirmed in the U.S.
• As COVID-19 continues to spread, travel operations, advisories and guidance are changing.
• American travelers should avoid non-essential travel to other countries where community transmission is widespread.
  - Continue to stay informed by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. State Department travel websites for the latest information.


3. The best way for travelers to prevent COVID-19 is practice good hygiene and minimize close contact with infected persons.

• Travelers should do their best to avoid close contact (within six feet) of people who are sick, especially those who are coughing and sneezing.
• Travelers should take precautionary actions including frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and     mouth.
• Travelers should use alcohol wipes to wipe surfaces such as tray tables, seat belts, and arm rests.
• People who are sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should postpone traveling.

How are travel restriction decisions made?
Shorter Answer

1. Travel restrictions must balance risk of exposure against cost of disrupting trade and traffic.
2. As countries experience COVID-19 outbreaks, the United States may impose travel restrictions.
3. Travel restriction information is continually updated at the CDC and U.S. State Department websites.

Longer Answer

1. Travel restrictions must balance risk of exposure against cost of disrupting trade and traffic.
• Free movement of persons and goods between the U.S. and other countries is important to the global economy.
• Travel restrictions can adversely impact the ability of Americans traveling abroad to return to the US without undue interference.
• Severe travel restrictions are normally imposed only when the risks arising from the free movement of goods and persons outweigh the benefits of free movement.

 

2. As countries experience COVID-19 outbreaks, the United States may impose travel restrictions.

• The U.S. has imposed major travel restrictions as a result of widespread transmission of COVID- 19 in specific countries.

• Balancing of risks, costs and benefits is reassessed and re-evaluated as conditions change.
• U.S. travel restrictions may change as more is known about the spread of the disease and about why there is so much variability in sickness from the disease.

3. Travel restriction information is continually updated at the CDC and US State Department websites.

• U.S. travel restrictions may change if outbreaks of COVID-19 intensify beyond current levels.
• Travel health warnings and notices can be issued, discouraging all non-essential travel to countries where widespread transmission is taking place.
• U.S. travel restrictions may change as more is known about the extent to which a person infected with COVID-19 and experiencing no symptoms can spread the disease to  others.

How are travel restriction decisions made?
Shorter Answer

1. Travel restrictions must balance risk of exposure against cost of disrupting trade and traffic.
2. As countries experience COVID-19 outbreaks, the United States may impose travel restrictions.
3. Travel restriction information is continually updated at the CDC and U.S. State Department websites.

Longer Answer

1. Travel restrictions must balance risk of exposure against cost of disrupting trade and traffic.
• Free movement of persons and goods between the U.S. and other countries is important to the global economy.
• Travel restrictions can adversely impact the ability of Americans traveling abroad to return to the US without undue interference.
• Severe travel restrictions are normally imposed only when the risks arising from the free movement of goods and persons outweigh the benefits of free movement.

 

2. As countries experience COVID-19 outbreaks, the United States may impose travel restrictions.

• The U.S. has imposed major travel restrictions as a result of widespread transmission of COVID- 19 in specific countries.

• Balancing of risks, costs and benefits is reassessed and re-evaluated as conditions change.
• U.S. travel restrictions may change as more is known about the spread of the disease and about why there is so much variability in sickness from the disease.

3. Travel restriction information is continually updated at the CDC and US State Department websites.

• U.S. travel restrictions may change if outbreaks of COVID-19 intensify beyond current levels.
• Travel health warnings and notices can be issued, discouraging all non-essential travel to countries where widespread transmission is taking place.
• U.S. travel restrictions may change as more is known about the extent to which a person infected with COVID-19 and experiencing no symptoms can spread the disease to  others.

Why has the U.S. adopted travel restrictions that are more stringent than those recommended by the World Health Organization?
Shorter Answer

1. Each country must weigh many factors in setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.
2. WHO has called on countries not to impose excessive COVID-19 travel restrictions.
3. The US has adopted a balanced approach to setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Longer Answer

1. Each country must weigh many factors in setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.

• Risk factors include the number of cases, deaths from the cases, the ease of transmission, and the effectiveness of risk management controls.
• Geographic factors include proximity between the countries, the length of a common border, and the ease of evading restrictions.
• Economic factors include adverse effects on the trade of needed goods and services.
• Risk and other factors important to one country may be different from those important to other countries.

2. WHO has called on countries not to impose excessive COVID-19 travel restrictions.

• Excessive travel restrictions may encourage evasion, deliberate self-concealment of illness, and illegal border crossings to avoid scrutiny and possible detection.
• Excessive travel restrictions can limit and restrict the movement of needed goods and services, including personal protective equipment.
• Excessive travel restrictions may result in stigmatizing the sick and impinging on civil liberties.

3. The U.S. has adopted a balanced approach to setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.

• The U.S. balances risks and other factors in setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.
• Entry points into the U.S. are generally more controllable than in many other countries.
• Screening of travelers can typically be conducted more effectively and comprehensively in the U.S. than in many other countries.

Why has the U.S. adopted travel restrictions that are more stringent than those recommended by the World Health Organization?
Shorter Answer

1. Each country must weigh many factors in setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.
2. WHO has called on countries not to impose excessive COVID-19 travel restrictions.
3. The US has adopted a balanced approach to setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Longer Answer

1. Each country must weigh many factors in setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.

• Risk factors include the number of cases, deaths from the cases, the ease of transmission, and the effectiveness of risk management controls.
• Geographic factors include proximity between the countries, the length of a common border, and the ease of evading restrictions.
• Economic factors include adverse effects on the trade of needed goods and services.
• Risk and other factors important to one country may be different from those important to other countries.

2. WHO has called on countries not to impose excessive COVID-19 travel restrictions.

• Excessive travel restrictions may encourage evasion, deliberate self-concealment of illness, and illegal border crossings to avoid scrutiny and possible detection.
• Excessive travel restrictions can limit and restrict the movement of needed goods and services, including personal protective equipment.
• Excessive travel restrictions may result in stigmatizing the sick and impinging on civil liberties.

3. The U.S. has adopted a balanced approach to setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.

• The U.S. balances risks and other factors in setting COVID-19 travel restrictions.
• Entry points into the U.S. are generally more controllable than in many other countries.
• Screening of travelers can typically be conducted more effectively and comprehensively in the U.S. than in many other countries.

Why are you restricting travel from some countries but not restricting travel from other countries with COVID-19 cases?
Shorter Answer

1. The U.S. has set travel restrictions on specific countries with COVID-19 outbreaks.
2. In setting travel restrictions, experts balance risks, costs and benefits.
3. CDC has established risk-based criteria for setting travel restrictions.

Longer Answer

1. The U.S. has set travel restrictions on specific countries with COVID-19 outbreaks.

• CDC provides a daily update of destinations to be avoided.
• U.S. border patrol agents are asking travelers about their recent travel history and passing out educational materials.
  - CDC has deployed additional staff to screen travelers at entry points.
• CDC has asked healthcare providers to be alert for travelers from countries with significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

 

2. In setting travel restrictions, experts balance risks, costs, and benefits.
• Excessive travel restrictions may encourage evasion, deliberate self-concealment of illness, and illegal border crossings to avoid scrutiny and possible detection.
• Excessive travel restrictions can limit and restrict the movement of needed goods and services.
• Excessive travel restrictions may result in stigmatizing populations and impinging on civil liberties.
• U.S. travel restrictions may change as greater clarity is gained about COVID-19.

3. CDC has established risk-based criteria for setting travel restrictions.
• CDC’s risk assessment travel restriction criteria are:
  - Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission and restrictions on entry by foreign nationals to the United States;
  - Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission;
  - Sustained (ongoing) community transmission; and
  - Limited community transmission.
• Travelers should consult the CDC travel information web page for current information.

Why are you restricting travel from some countries but not restricting travel from other countries with COVID-19 cases?
Shorter Answer

1. The U.S. has set travel restrictions on specific countries with COVID-19 outbreaks.
2. In setting travel restrictions, experts balance risks, costs and benefits.
3. CDC has established risk-based criteria for setting travel restrictions.

Longer Answer

1. The U.S. has set travel restrictions on specific countries with COVID-19 outbreaks.

• CDC provides a daily update of destinations to be avoided.
• U.S. border patrol agents are asking travelers about their recent travel history and passing out educational materials.
  - CDC has deployed additional staff to screen travelers at entry points.
• CDC has asked healthcare providers to be alert for travelers from countries with significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

 

2. In setting travel restrictions, experts balance risks, costs, and benefits.
• Excessive travel restrictions may encourage evasion, deliberate self-concealment of illness, and illegal border crossings to avoid scrutiny and possible detection.
• Excessive travel restrictions can limit and restrict the movement of needed goods and services.
• Excessive travel restrictions may result in stigmatizing populations and impinging on civil liberties.
• U.S. travel restrictions may change as greater clarity is gained about COVID-19.

3. CDC has established risk-based criteria for setting travel restrictions.
• CDC’s risk assessment travel restriction criteria are:
  - Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission and restrictions on entry by foreign nationals to the United States;
  - Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission;
  - Sustained (ongoing) community transmission; and
  - Limited community transmission.
• Travelers should consult the CDC travel information web page for current information.

What should I do if I had contact with someone with COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Tell your health care provider about your contact with the infected person.
2. The virus can be transmitted from person-to-person through close contact.
3. Call your health care provider if you notice symptoms of COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. Tell your health care provider about your contact with the infected person.

• Call your your health care provider and tell them about your contact with the infected person.
• Your health care provider will work with your state’s public health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if you need to be tested.
• If seeing a health care provider is not possible, immediately contact the CDC (800-CDC-INFO) to get advice on what to do.

 

2. The virus can be transmitted from person-to-person through close contact.

• Much is unknown about how the virus spreads and current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar viruses.
• Person-to-person spread occurs mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected person.

 

3. Call your health care provider if you notice symptoms of COVID-19.

• Watch for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
• If you notice symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider in advance to advise you on how to seek care.
• Calling before you show up for care also allows your provider to take precautions that will help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
• If you notice COVID-19 symptoms, seek advice before traveling to get medical care.

What should I do if I had contact with someone with COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Tell your health care provider about your contact with the infected person.
2. The virus can be transmitted from person-to-person through close contact.
3. Call your health care provider if you notice symptoms of COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. Tell your health care provider about your contact with the infected person.

• Call your your health care provider and tell them about your contact with the infected person.
• Your health care provider will work with your state’s public health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if you need to be tested.
• If seeing a health care provider is not possible, immediately contact the CDC (800-CDC-INFO) to get advice on what to do.

 

2. The virus can be transmitted from person-to-person through close contact.

• Much is unknown about how the virus spreads and current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar viruses.
• Person-to-person spread occurs mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected person.

 

3. Call your health care provider if you notice symptoms of COVID-19.

• Watch for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
• If you notice symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider in advance to advise you on how to seek care.
• Calling before you show up for care also allows your provider to take precautions that will help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
• If you notice COVID-19 symptoms, seek advice before traveling to get medical care.

What can people do to prevent infection with COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.
2. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.
3. Everyday basic hygiene is important to prevent infection.

Longer Answer

1. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.

• Avoid close contact (about 6 feet) with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, stay home and limit contact with others to avoid spreading the virus.
• Avoid non-essential travel to places where widespread transmission is happening.

2. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.

• CDC does not recommend routine use of face masks as they create a false sense of security and require proper fitting.
• Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others.
• The use of face masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or at a health care facility).
• Unnecessary use of face masks increases the likelihood of a limited supply for those who are sick and for health care workers who are at the highest risk for disease                    transmission.


3. Everyday basic hygiene is important to prevent infection.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
   - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue (and then throw away the tissue).
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

What can people do to prevent infection with COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.
2. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.
3. Everyday basic hygiene is important to prevent infection.

Longer Answer

1. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.

• Avoid close contact (about 6 feet) with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, stay home and limit contact with others to avoid spreading the virus.
• Avoid non-essential travel to places where widespread transmission is happening.

2. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.

• CDC does not recommend routine use of face masks as they create a false sense of security and require proper fitting.
• Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others.
• The use of face masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or at a health care facility).
• Unnecessary use of face masks increases the likelihood of a limited supply for those who are sick and for health care workers who are at the highest risk for disease                    transmission.


3. Everyday basic hygiene is important to prevent infection.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
   - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue (and then throw away the tissue).
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

Are face masks useful to prevent COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Face masks can help sick people from spreading the virus.
2. Face masks are not recommended for people who are healthy.
3. If you wear a face mask, you should also use other preventive measures.

Longer Answer

1. Face masks can help sick people from spreading the virus.

• If you are sick with COVID-19, you should wear a face mask when you are around other people.
• A face mask should be used to protect others from getting infected.
• If you are not able to wear a face mask while you are sick (for example, if you find it hard to breathe while wearing it), then others should not stay in the same room as you or        they should wear a mask.
• The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone sick with COVID-19 in close settings.

 

2. Face masks are not recommended for people who are healthy.

• CDC does not recommend routine use of face masks as they create a false sense of security and require proper fitting.
• Unnecessary use of masks increases the likelihood that masks may be in short supply for those who are sick and for health care workers who are at the highest risk for disease transmission.
• You should use a face mask if you are caring for someone with suspected COVID-19 infection when in close quarters.

3. If you wear a face mask, you should also use other preventive measures.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
   - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.
   - Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

Are face masks useful to prevent COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Face masks can help sick people from spreading the virus.
2. Face masks are not recommended for people who are healthy.
3. If you wear a face mask, you should also use other preventive measures.

Longer Answer

1. Face masks can help sick people from spreading the virus.

• If you are sick with COVID-19, you should wear a face mask when you are around other people.
• A face mask should be used to protect others from getting infected.
• If you are not able to wear a face mask while you are sick (for example, if you find it hard to breathe while wearing it), then others should not stay in the same room as you or        they should wear a mask.
• The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone sick with COVID-19 in close settings.

 

2. Face masks are not recommended for people who are healthy.

• CDC does not recommend routine use of face masks as they create a false sense of security and require proper fitting.
• Unnecessary use of masks increases the likelihood that masks may be in short supply for those who are sick and for health care workers who are at the highest risk for disease transmission.
• You should use a face mask if you are caring for someone with suspected COVID-19 infection when in close quarters.

3. If you wear a face mask, you should also use other preventive measures.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
   - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.
   - Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

What type of face mask may be effective against COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. A medical face mask can help an infected person prevent spreading the virus.
2. N95 respirators may be used by healthcare personnel when caring for an infected patient.
3. If wearing a medical face mask, you should still practice basic hygiene.

Longer Answer

1. A medical face mask can help an infected person prevent spreading the virus.

• Medical face masks are flat or pleated (some are like cups) and are attached to the head with straps.
• The role of a medical face mask is to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes.
• Medical face masks are loose-fitting and only provide protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles from coughs or sneezes.
• A medical face mask should be used by people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms of illness like coughing or sneezing.

 

2. N95 respirators may be used by healthcare personnel when caring for an infected patient.

• A N95 respirator is a tight-fitting personal protective device and requires training and testing to ensure a proper seal.
• The N95 respirator filters out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles.
• N95 respirators are not recommended for routine use in the community.

3. If wearing a medical face mask, you should still practice basic hygiene.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

What type of face mask may be effective against COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. A medical face mask can help an infected person prevent spreading the virus.
2. N95 respirators may be used by healthcare personnel when caring for an infected patient.
3. If wearing a medical face mask, you should still practice basic hygiene.

Longer Answer

1. A medical face mask can help an infected person prevent spreading the virus.

• Medical face masks are flat or pleated (some are like cups) and are attached to the head with straps.
• The role of a medical face mask is to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes.
• Medical face masks are loose-fitting and only provide protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles from coughs or sneezes.
• A medical face mask should be used by people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms of illness like coughing or sneezing.

 

2. N95 respirators may be used by healthcare personnel when caring for an infected patient.

• A N95 respirator is a tight-fitting personal protective device and requires training and testing to ensure a proper seal.
• The N95 respirator filters out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles.
• N95 respirators are not recommended for routine use in the community.

3. If wearing a medical face mask, you should still practice basic hygiene.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

Is there a sufficient supply of face masks and N95 respirators?
Shorter Answer

1. Public health officials are working to ensure adequate supply for critical personnel.
2. Medical face masks and special respirators should be used only where recommended.
3. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.

Longer Answer

1. Public health officials are working to ensure adequate supply for critical personnel.

• Supplies of N95 respirators — 95% effective in filtering infectious agents — can become depleted when in exceptionally high demand.
• Supplies and demand for face masks and N95 respirators will vary by location.
  - It is likely that high demand and high need may cause shortages in some places.
• Countries, public health officials, and suppliers are continually and closely monitoring the availability of medical face masks as well as N95 respirators.

 

2. Medical face masks and N95 respirators should be used only where recommended.

• Medical face masks are recommended for use by people who have a confirmed respiratory infection and for people who are taking care of someone in close settings.
• N95 respirators are recommended for health care workers and are not recommended for routine use in the community.
• Hoarding of medical face masks and N95 respirators could prevent the people who need them most from getting them.

3. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.

• CDC does not recommend routine use of face masks as they create a false sense of security and require proper fitting.
• Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others.
• The use of face masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or at a health care facility).
• Unnecessary use of face masks increases the likelihood of a limited supply for those who are sick and for health care workers who are at the highest risk for disease transmission.

Is there a sufficient supply of face masks and N95 respirators?
Shorter Answer

1. Public health officials are working to ensure adequate supply for critical personnel.
2. Medical face masks and special respirators should be used only where recommended.
3. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.

Longer Answer

1. Public health officials are working to ensure adequate supply for critical personnel.

• Supplies of N95 respirators — 95% effective in filtering infectious agents — can become depleted when in exceptionally high demand.
• Supplies and demand for face masks and N95 respirators will vary by location.
  - It is likely that high demand and high need may cause shortages in some places.
• Countries, public health officials, and suppliers are continually and closely monitoring the availability of medical face masks as well as N95 respirators.

 

2. Medical face masks and N95 respirators should be used only where recommended.

• Medical face masks are recommended for use by people who have a confirmed respiratory infection and for people who are taking care of someone in close settings.
• N95 respirators are recommended for health care workers and are not recommended for routine use in the community.
• Hoarding of medical face masks and N95 respirators could prevent the people who need them most from getting them.

3. Face masks have limited ability to prevent infection in otherwise healthy people.

• CDC does not recommend routine use of face masks as they create a false sense of security and require proper fitting.
• Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others.
• The use of face masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or at a health care facility).
• Unnecessary use of face masks increases the likelihood of a limited supply for those who are sick and for health care workers who are at the highest risk for disease transmission.

How is COVID-19 acquired?
Shorter Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 likely originally emerged from an animal source.
2. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted from person-to-person.
3. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.

Longer Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 likely originally emerged from an animal source.

• Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
• An animal coronavirus can, upon occasion, mutate to become a virus that can infect people.
• It’s likely that an animal source from a live animal market in China was responsible for some of the first reported human infections.

2. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted from person-to-person.

• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within 6 feet) with an infected person.
• Person-to-person spread occurs mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
• How easily a particular virus spreads from person-to-person can vary under differing environmental conditions like humidity.
• It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
• Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 spreads and current knowledge is largely based on what is known about other similar coronaviruses.

3. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

How is COVID-19 acquired?
Shorter Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 likely originally emerged from an animal source.
2. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted from person-to-person.
3. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.

Longer Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 likely originally emerged from an animal source.

• Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
• An animal coronavirus can, upon occasion, mutate to become a virus that can infect people.
• It’s likely that an animal source from a live animal market in China was responsible for some of the first reported human infections.

2. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted from person-to-person.

• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within 6 feet) with an infected person.
• Person-to-person spread occurs mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
• How easily a particular virus spreads from person-to-person can vary under differing environmental conditions like humidity.
• It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
• Much is still unknown about how COVID-19 spreads and current knowledge is largely based on what is known about other similar coronaviruses.

3. The best way to prevent infection is avoiding exposure to the virus.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Can a person spread the COVID-19 even if they have no symptoms?
Shorter Answer

1. It is possible that people infected with COVID-19 may be infectious before showing symptoms.
2. More detailed studies are being done to determine whether people acquire COVID-19 from those without symptoms.
3. People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

Longer Answer

1. It is possible that people infected with the COVID-19 may be infectious before showing symptoms.

• Some experts believe it is possible for the virus that causes COVID-19 to be acquired from people who have no symptoms or signs of infection.
• There have been credible reports that people have acquired COVID-19 from infected people who did not have noticeable symptoms nor signs of illness.

2. More detailed studies are being done to determine whether people acquire COVID-19 from those without symptoms.

• There is still much to be learned about how COVID-19 is acquired.
• Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.
• Health authorities will continue to watch how COVID-19 is acquired.
• If people without symptoms can spread the virus effectively, it will be much harder to prevent outbreaks.

3. People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

• COVID-19 is most likely acquired from someone who is actively sick.
• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected patient.
• Early and potentially highly efficient transmission of the virus may occur before clinical symptoms or in conjunction with the very first mild symptoms.
• Most viral respiratory infections, including those caused by coronaviruses, are spread through the coughs and sneezes of infected people who have symptoms. 

Can a person spread the COVID-19 even if they have no symptoms?
Shorter Answer

1. It is possible that people infected with COVID-19 may be infectious before showing symptoms.
2. More detailed studies are being done to determine whether people acquire COVID-19 from those without symptoms.
3. People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

Longer Answer

1. It is possible that people infected with the COVID-19 may be infectious before showing symptoms.

• Some experts believe it is possible for the virus that causes COVID-19 to be acquired from people who have no symptoms or signs of infection.
• There have been credible reports that people have acquired COVID-19 from infected people who did not have noticeable symptoms nor signs of illness.

2. More detailed studies are being done to determine whether people acquire COVID-19 from those without symptoms.

• There is still much to be learned about how COVID-19 is acquired.
• Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.
• Health authorities will continue to watch how COVID-19 is acquired.
• If people without symptoms can spread the virus effectively, it will be much harder to prevent outbreaks.

3. People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

• COVID-19 is most likely acquired from someone who is actively sick.
• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected patient.
• Early and potentially highly efficient transmission of the virus may occur before clinical symptoms or in conjunction with the very first mild symptoms.
• Most viral respiratory infections, including those caused by coronaviruses, are spread through the coughs and sneezes of infected people who have symptoms. 

How efficient is the spread of COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Initial data suggest that each person with COVID-19 may infect up to two or three additional people if no mitigation measures are used.
2. It is possible that people infected with COVID-19 may be infectious before showing symptoms.
3. Person-to-person infection of COVID-19 usually happens after close contact with an infected person.

Longer Answer

1. Initial data suggest that each person with COVID-19 may infect up to two or three additional people if no mitigation measures are used.

• How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person depends on properties of the virus and the environment.
   - A strain of virus that spreads more easily through aerosols rather than heavier droplets released when an infected person sneezes or coughs is typically more contagious.
• The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be more contagious than most strains of flu, but less contagious than measles.
• Initial data suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is more contagious but less deadly than the virus that causes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
• The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be acquired easily in confined spaces.
• COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it is acquired.

2. It is possible that people infected with COVID-19 may be infectious before showing symptoms.

• Although people appear highly contagious when they are sickest and producing the most droplets, asymptomatic transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been  reported.
• Early and potentially highly efficient transmission of the virus may occur before clinical symptoms or in conjunction with the very first mild symptoms.
• There have been credible reports that people can acquire COVID-19 from infected people without noticeable symptoms or signs of illness.

3. Person-to-person infection of COVID-19 usually happens after close contact with an infected person.

• Person-to-person acquisition of COVID-19 usually happens between people who are within about 6 feet of each other.
• Person-to-person acquisition occurs mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
• It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. 

Can the COVID-19 be spread from contaminated surfaces?
Shorter Answer

1. COVID-19 can be acquired from contaminated surfaces.
2. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
3. Most often, spread happens among close contacts through respiratory droplets.

Longer Answer

1. COVID-19 can be acquired from contaminated surfaces.

• Some spread may happen by touching the contaminated surface and touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
• Though the virus that causes COVID-19 can exist for hours to days on surface, it is unknown how long the virus remains infectious.

2. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

• Simple disinfectants can inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19 from infecting people.
• If you are sick with COVID-19, do not share personal items with other people in your home.
• Personal items used by a person with COVID-19 should be thoroughly washed with soap and water.

3. Most often, spread happens among close contacts through respiratory droplets.

• Acquisition of COVID-19 occurs primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infectious person coughs or sneezes.
• Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
• Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area with a person with COVID-19.
• Surfaces contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19 are not thought to be the primary way the virus is spread.

Can COVID-19 be spread in the air, like measles or tuberculosis, or only by droplets?
Shorter Answer

1. People primarily acquire COVID-19 by respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes.
2. There are important differences between droplet and airborne transmission.
3. Airborne spread of COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets, whereas measles and tuberculosis (TB) include suspended airborne particles.

Longer Answer

1. People primarily acquire COVID-19 by respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes. 

• Spread of COVID-19 may also happen by touching a surface contaminated with an infected droplet and touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Unlike measles and tuberculosis, COVID-19 does not spread via the airborne route.
• Initial data suggest that each person with COVID-19 may infect up to two or three additional people if no mitigation measures are used.

2. There are important differences between droplet and airborne transmission.

• Droplets are too large and heavy to remain airborne and instead settle.
• Only a limited number of diseases are capable of airborne transmission.

3. Airborne spread of COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets, whereas measles and TB include suspended airborne particles.

• Measles virus is acquired by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes.
• Measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.
• TB bacteria are acquired via the airborne route and can remain in the air for several hours with the potential to infect large numbers of people.

Should schools and social gatherings be canceled?
Shorter Answer

1. Communities need to start planning for “social distancing” and closing schools.
2. Quick action by communities may be needed to stop person-to-person spread of COVID-19.
3. Communities should look to federal, state, and local health departments for guidance on social distancing and school closures.

Longer Answer

1. Communities need to start planning for “social distancing” and closing schools.

• “Social distancing” is the public health practice of putting distance between people to prevent the spread of a disease.
  - Most exposures to coronavirus occur after close contact with ill persons.
• Social distancing measures include closing schools and cancelling large public gatherings like church, sporting events, conferences, and festivals.
  - Many communities around the world have already implemented social distancing.
• Public health officials are asking communities and schools to think ahead and prepare for the possible challenges ahead.
• Communities should work with their state and local health departments to determine the risk and impact of disease in each of their communities.

2. Quick action by communities may be needed to stop person-to-person spread of COVID-19.

• Schools may need to close because they are places where large number of people congregate.
  - To protect parents, teachers, school staff, and children from becoming infected, school closures may be an important social distancing tool.
  - Children may be unaware that they are carrying the virus that causes COVID-19 and could infect others.
• Communities should encourage people to avoid close contact – at least 6 feet – with people who are coughing, sneezing, and have a fever.
• Closures of schools or other gatherings should only be used in communities where there is a very high rate of spread.
  - Unintended consequences of school closures, such as impact on working parents, should be thoroughly considered.
  - Schools should start planning alternative schooling strategies.

3. Communities should look to federal, state, and local health departments for guidance on social distancing and school closures.

• Social distancing has been used successfully in the past to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
• Public health authorities have seen the value of social distancing from experiences with measles, SARS, pandemic influenza, and seasonal influenza.
• Communities should coordinate their planned social distancing efforts with the business sector, such as teleworking and changes to leave policies.
• Communities should coordinate the social distancing efforts of community-based organizations such as businesses, faith-based organizations, and non-profit organizations. 

Do you think state and local health departments are doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. State and local health departments are providing timely and accurate information on COVID-19.
2. State and local health departments have extensive training and experience controlling disease outbreaks.
3. State and local health departments look to the public and communities for help in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. State and local health departments are providing timely and accurate information on COVID-19.
• State and local health departments are disseminating information on the progress of their response efforts.
• State and local health departments are providing guidance to communities on prevention and mitigation.
• State and local health departments are responding quickly to dispel rumors, misperceptions, and stigmatization of affected groups.
• State and local health departments are providing guidance to private and public sector organizations on social distancing.
• State and local health departments are working closely with federal agencies, Governors, and local and state emergency management agencies to help inform and plan for the response to COVID-19.

2. State and local health departments have extensive training and experience controlling disease outbreaks.

• State and local health departments have extensive experience monitoring travelers to prevent
disease outbreaks.
• State and local health departments have successfully controlled outbreaks of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), Ebola, Zika, measles, pandemic influenza, seasonal influenza, and food borne diseases.
• State and local health departments government have a highly trained and experienced workforce with years of preparing and practicing for situations like coronavirus.

3. State and local health departments look to the public and communities for help in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

• The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19.
  - Everyday preventive actions such as hand washing help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
• The public and communities can help state and local health departments by preparing now for social distancing. 

What is the source of COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. COVID-19 is a coronavirus – a large family of viruses that circulate among humans and animals.
2. An animal is likely to be the source for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
3. There is no evidence that any animals in the United States might be a source of COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. COVID-19 is a coronavirus – a large family of viruses that circulate among humans and animals.

• Coronaviruses occur in several species of animals and reptiles.
  - Potential animal sources of COVID-19 include bats, cattle, horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, camels, bats, and snakes.
• Some coronaviruses can cause illness in animals and spread between animals and humans.
• Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and humans.
• For a coronavirus to spread from animals to humans, the virus must first go through a series of genetic mutations as it is believed is the case for COVID-19.

2. An animal is likely to be the source for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

• The first persons infected with COVID-19 are likely to have acquired the virus directly from animals.
• The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has genetic similarities to MERS and SARS that suggest it has its origins in bats.
  - The coronaviruses that caused MERS CoV and SARS CoV have their origins in bats.
• Researchers in China have suggested that pangolins, which are long-snouted mammals often used in traditional Chinese medicine, may be the animal source of the virus that causes COVID-19.

• Scientists do not know whether bats were the source of infection for other animals.

3. There is no evidence that any animals in the United States might be a source of COVID-19.

• There is no evidence to suggest that animals pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the U.S.
• There have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the U.S.
• It is not yet known if COVID-19 can infect or cause illness in dogs, cats, or livestock.

• There are still many uncertainties regarding COVID-19 and illness in animals.

How worried should people be about COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. It is understandable that people are worried about COVID-19.
2. The current health threat of becoming infected in the U.S. is low.
3. The best way to prevent becoming infected is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Longer Answer

1. It is understandable that people are worried about COVID-19. 

• People are concerned because COVID-19 is a new disease infecting large numbers of people and spreading rapidly throughout the world.
• People are concerned because of the increasing number of dramatic and concerning media stories.
• People are concerned because everyday life presents multiple opportunities for getting sick due to often crowded and confined environments.
• People are concerned because, even though COVID-19 is like the common cold, much is still unknown about it.

2. The current health threat of becoming infected in the U.S. is low.

• Few cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. compared to the most highly impacted countries.
• If COVID-19 begins to spread more consistently in communities in the U.S., public health officials will review and reconsider current guidance.
• American travelers should avoid non-essential travel to other countries where community transmission is widespread.
  - Travelers should stay informed by following the U.S. State Department87 and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel website88 for the latest information.

3. The best way to prevent becoming infected is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

• People should do their best to avoid close contact (within six feet) of people who are sick, especially those who are coughing and sneezing.
• People should take precautionary actions including frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth after touching surfaces.
• People who are especially concerned about infection should use alcohol wipes to wipe surfaces such as tables and doorknobs.
• People who are sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should stay home and contact their health care provider.

How contagious is the virus that causes COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads similarly to viruses that cause the common cold.
2. How easily the virus spreads from person-to-person appears highly variable.
3. Much is still unknown about the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads similarly to viruses that cause the common cold.

• The virus that causes COVID-19 is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through close contact with an infected person.
• The virus can be spread through droplets that are created when a person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
• People infected with COVID-19 are most infectious when they are most ill.
• It appears an infected person without symptoms may transmit the virus that causes COVID-19.

2. How easily the virus spreads from person-to-person appears highly variable.

• Since most cases of COVID-19 are mild, the disease may be more widespread than current testing numbers indicate.
• Scientists have estimated that an infected person could spread COVID-19 to two or three additional people if no mitigation measures are used.
• Person-to-person spread usually happens after close contact (within about 6 feet) with an infected person.
• People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  - Early and potentially highly efficient transmission of the virus may occur before clinical symptoms or in conjunction with the very first mild symptoms.

3. Much is still unknown about the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

• Based on currently available data, people who have symptoms are causing the majority of virus spread.
• Research is needed to learn more specifics about how the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread, including if it spread from touching contaminated surfaces.
• Effective prevention and control of COVID-19 will be difficult if the virus can be easily transmitted to other people.

How rapidly does COVID-19 move from place to place?
Shorter Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 has moved rapidly rapidly from region to region.
2. Scientists are uncertain about how rapidly COVID-19 will continue to move from place to place.
3. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to move more rapidly than influenza or the SARS viruses.

Longer Answer

1. The virus that causes COVID-19 has moved rapidly from region to region.

• COVID-19 is thought to move mainly from person-to-person through the small droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
• Some transmission of COVID-19 may occur before people show symptoms.

2. Scientists are uncertain about how rapidly COVID-19 will continue to move from place to place.

• How easily a virus like COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person can vary, depending on different conditions, such as environment.
• People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest), but may also be contagious without showing symptoms.
  - Early and potentially highly efficient transmission of the virus may occur before clinical symptoms or in conjunction with the very first mild symptoms.

• More testing of people for COVID-19 will bring more confirmed cases but that does not mean the virus is spreading more rapidly.
• More needs to be learned about how long it take the virus to go from one person to the next.

3. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to move more rapidly than influenza or the SARS viruses.

• Scientists estimate that each person who gets sick with COVID-19 could potentially it spread it to two or three additional people.
  - How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person varies.
• People with the flu tend to infect one or slightly more than one additional persons on average.
• The faster public health officials can find people who are infected and isolate them from other people, the more successful they will be in controlling COVID-19.
• The faster public health officials can find people who have been in contact with infected individuals, the more successful they will be in controlling COVID-19.
• Even if the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads slowly, prevention and control will be difficult if COVID-19 can be easily transmitted to other people.

How long will concerns about COVID-19 last?
Shorter Answer

1. Concerns will linger until there is more scientific data about the behavior of COVID-19 and its impacts.
2. Concerns will linger because it is likely that the virus that causes COVID-19 will continue to circulate.
3. Concerns about COVID-19 will likely persist as long as the virus continues to spread rapidly.

Longer Answer

1. Concerns will linger until there is more scientific data about the behavior of COVID-19 and its impacts.

• Viruses are often highly unpredictable in terms of when, where, and why they spread.
• Viruses are unpredictable in terms of who will be exposed, who will become infected, and the severity of illness that people who are infected will experience.
• The ability of viruses to spread depends on many things, including the time of year, humidity, and indoor and outdoor temperatures.

2. Concerns will linger because it is likely that the virus that causes COVID-19 will continue to circulate.

• The coronaviruses that are continually in circulation cause about 10% to 30% of mild and severe colds that happen each year.
• The new influenza virus that caused the 2009-2010 pandemic is still in circulation.
• Public health departments and experts will be working with communities and healthcare providers to limit the spread of COVID-19.
• Like influenza pandemics, this new virus will likely become one of the chronically circulating coronaviruses circulating in human populations and cause cold-like symptoms in future years.

3. Concerns about COVID-19 will likely persist as long as the virus continues to spread rapidly.

• Concerns will linger depending upon rate of global spread.
• Concerns will linger depending upon time to develop safe and effective medicines and vaccines.
• The impact of COVID-19 on economies, businesses, workers, and everyday life will extend beyond the illnesses that it causes.
• Hospitals, healthcare organizations, and communities need to be prepared to handle a surge of COVID-19 cases and local outbreaks.
• Hospitals, healthcare facilities, nursing home, and places with older patients and people with chronic disease will have to take steps to protect the people who are most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 illness.

How long will it take to develop a vaccine for COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. A massive effort is underway to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
2. It can take one or two years to develop a fully tested vaccine.
3. Initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine would be for those at highest risk.

Longer Answer

1. A massive effort is underway to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

• Many countries, including the U.S. and China, have announced projects to create a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
• Since this is a newly discovered coronavirus, it is not yet known whether – or how long – it will take to develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
• There are many uncertainties and challenges involved in developing new vaccines, including determining how best to provide protection.
• Availability and decisions on how to use the first available COVID-19 vaccines would likely vary by country.

2. It can take one or two years to develop a fully tested vaccine.

• Before being licensed for wide use, new vaccines have to first be tested to see if they are safe and effective.
• In the U.S., a vaccine can be used before it is licensed but this requires an Emergency Use Authorization and an informed consent process.

 

3. Initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine would be for those at highest risk.

• Indications for vaccine use will likely be prioritized for those at highest risk of complications from disease and those who have the highest risk of exposure.
• Guidance for vaccine use will be provided by the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
• People at highest risk of infection include doctors, nurses, and others who would be caring for infected patients.
• Until a vaccine is licensed for use, only limited amounts of the vaccine will be available.

What is the medical treatment for people affected by COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19.
2. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider immediately.
3. The best way to prevent illness is avoiding exposure to COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. There is no specific medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19.

• People infected with COVID-19 receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
• People infected with COVID-19 are given medicines and treatment for pain, fever, and coughs.
• For severe cases of COVID-19, treatment includes support for vital organ functions.
• Additional treatments for COVID-19 are being investigated and tested.

2. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider immediately.

• Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
• Call your health care provider if you have common cold symptoms and have been in an area where COVID-19 has been identified.
• Call your health care provider if you have common cold symptoms and have been in contact with someone confirmed or being evaluated for COVID-19.
• Call ahead before you go to a health care provider office or emergency room and tell them about your recent travels, contacts, and symptoms.
• Health care providers will evaluate whether you have COVID-19.

3. The best way to prevent illness is avoiding exposure to the virus.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick with COVID-19.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Will hospitals be able to handle a major outbreak of COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Hospitals have systems in place for the early detection and mitigation of COVID-19.
2. Hospital staff are trained to quickly isolate people with COVID-19.
3. Hospitals have extensive training and experience controlling disease outbreaks.

Longer Answer

1. Hospitals have systems in place for the early detection and mitigation of COVID-19.

• Hospital early detection and containment systems are based on lessons learned from previous disease outbreaks.
• Hospitals are providing additional training for staff on COVID-19 prevention, containment, and mitigation.
• Hospitals are expanding their COVID-19 treatment and isolation facilities.

2. Hospital staff are trained to quickly isolate people with COVID-19.

• Hospital workers are trained to quickly Identify potential COVID-19 cases.
• Hospital workers are trained to take travel histories that may indicate COVID-19 infection.
• Hospital workers train and practice how to put on and take off protective gear, draw blood safely, and dispose of bio-hazardous materials.
• Identifying and isolating COVID-19 cases quickly can significantly reduce transmission.
  - Health care workers are trained to be on the watch for patients with symptoms that in the early stages of illness may seem like the flu.
  - Health care workers are trained to take travel histories that may indicate contact with COVID-19.
  - Health care workers can test for COVID-19 in suspected individuals.

3. Hospitals have extensive training and experience controlling disease outbreaks.

• Working with federal, state, and local health departments, hospitals have successfully controlled outbreaks of SARS, Ebola, Zika, measles, pandemic influenza, seasonal influenza, and food-borne diseases.
• Hospitals train, equip, and practice in simulated emergencies for situations like coronavirus.
• CDC has developed a highly specific Hospital Preparedness Assessment Tool for COVID-19.

What are public health departments doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. The U.S. healthcare system has strategies for early detection and mitigation of COVID-19.
2. The U.S. healthcare system can quickly identify COVID-19 cases, isolate sick people, and trace contacts.
3. Health departments and hospitals have training and experience controlling disease outbreaks.

Longer Answer

1. The U.S. healthcare system has strategies for early detection and mitigation of COVID-19.

• Health departments are strengthening their early detection, containment, and mitigation systems.
  - Healthcare workers train on prevention, containment, and mitigation of COVID-19.
  - Health departments are providing additional training for healthcare workers.
  - Health departments are expanding COVID-19 quarantine and treatment facilities.

2. The U.S. healthcare system can quickly identify COVID-19 cases, isolate sick people, and trace contacts.

• Identifying COVID-19 cases quickly can significantly reduce transmission.
  - Health care workers are trained to be on the watch for patients with COVID symptoms.
  - Health care workers are trained to take travel histories that may indicate COVID-19.
• Isolating people sick with COVID-19 quickly can significantly reduce transmission.

  - People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest)
  - Early and potentially highly efficient transmission of the virus may occur before clinical symptoms or in conjunction with the very first mild symptoms.
  - Health care workers train and practice how to put on and take off protective gear, draw blood safely, and dispose of bio-hazardous materials.
• Tracing contacts of COVID-19 patients quickly can significantly reduce transmission.
  - People who have been in contact with an COVID-19 patient are monitored for temperature and symptoms, and may be quarantined.

3. Health departments and hospitals have training and experience controlling disease outbreaks.

• Federal, state and local health departments have experience monitoring travelers to prevent disease outbreaks.
• Health departments and hospitals have successfully controlled outbreaks of SARS, Ebola, Zika, measles, pandemic influenza, seasonal influenza, and food-borne diseases.
• Health departments and hospitals have highly trained and experienced workforces with years of preparing and practicing for situations like COVID-19.
• State and local health departments are helping lead their communities for potential impacts from the spread of COVID-19.
• Health professionals and departments are helping educate communities regarding the risks of COVID-19 transmission and how to best prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19.

What happens when a case of COVID-19 is idenitified?
Shorter Answer

1. Health care workers identify COVID-19 cases quickly to reduce transmission.
2. Health care workers isolate COVID-19 cases quickly to reduce transmission.
3. Health care workers trace contacts of COVID-19 cases quickly to reduce transmission.

Longer Answer

1. Health care workers identify COVID-19 cases quickly to reduce transmission.

• Heath care workers are trained to identify patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
• Health care workers are trained to take travel histories indicating contact with COVID-19.
• Health care workers are trained and practiced in handling COVID-19 cases.

2. Health care workers isolate COVID-19 cases quickly to reduce transmission.

• People are thought to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  - Early and potentially highly efficient transmission of the virus may occur before clinical symptoms or in conjunction with the very first mild symptoms.
• Health care workers are trained and practiced in how to isolate a patient.
• Health care systems are highly experienced and effective in caring for patients with highly infectious and deadly infections and do it every day.

3. Health care workers trace contacts of COVID-19 cases quickly to reduce transmission.

• People who have been in contact with an COVID-19 patient are monitored for temperature and symptoms.
• People who have been in contact with an COVID-19 patient may be quarantined.
• Health care workers follow CDC’s detailed guidelines on contact tracing.

What can communities do to prepare for COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Communities working together is critical to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 response effort.
2. In preparation for a COVID-19 outbreak, communities need to plan for social distancing measures.
3. Communities should help prevent discrimination and stigma.

Longer Answer

1. Communities working together is critical to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 response effort.

• Community hospitals and other healthcare organizations are strengthening their ability to detect and track suspected cases of COVID-19.
• Businesses should plan for extended absences of employees due to illness or taking care of family members.
• Communities should work with their health departments and local organizations to improve outreach to the elderly, non-English speaking communities, and those without access to care.
• As trusted sources, community- and faith-based organizations can reinforce the importance of everyday preventive action steps to members of the community to help stop the spread of germs.
• Communities can promote the value of people staying healthy to reduce chances of becoming sick with COVID-19.

2. In preparation for a COVID-19 outbreak, communities should plan for social distancing measures.

• If COVID-19 becomes widespread, health officials may recommend social distancing actions that reduce face-to-face contact to limit exposure and illness.
• Social distancing measures may include canceling large public gatherings and closing schools.
• Schools should communicate with parents about the decision-making process for potential school closures.
• The decisions to close schools will be made carefully given how disruptive this can be.
  - Initial data indicates that few children are being affected by COVID-19.
• Many communities around the world have already implemented social distancing measures in response to COVID-19.

3. Communities can help prevent discrimination or stigma.

• Viruses are a threat to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or the country one lives in.
• Viruses do not target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
• Viruses do not respect borders and do not discriminate among different types of people.
• People can help prevent discrimination and stigmatization by staying informed through trusted sources and sharing accurate information.

What are emergency medical service (EMS) providers doing about COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. EMS staff are trained to handle persons with possible COVID-19.
2. EMS clinicians and first responders need to modify their practices for COVID-19.
3. The EMS system works closely with many health partners.

Longer Answer

1. EMS staff are trained to handle persons with possible COVID-19.

• EMS Emergency Medical Service (EMS) response begins with close coordination and effective communication among the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) or “911 call centers,” the EMS system, healthcare facilities, and the public health system.
• PSAPs or Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) centers should question callers about signs, symptoms, and risk factors for COVID-19.
  - If COVID-19 is suspected, prehospital care providers and healthcare facilities should be notified in advance that they may be transporting, caring for, and/or receiving a patient who may have COVID-19.
• EMS staff includes all first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and emergency management officials.
• Care and transports by EMS present unique challenges because of the nature of the setting, enclosed space during transport, frequent need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information, and a varying range of patient acuity and jurisdictional healthcare resources.

2. EMS clinicians and first responders need to modify their practices for COVID-19.

• CDC has extensive guidance for EMS providers on modifying their practices for COVID-19.
• The CDC recommended modifications of EMS practices with respect to COVID-19 include:
  - Patient assessment and precautions for aerosol generating procedures
  - Transport of a suspect or confirmed COVID-19 patient to a healthcare facility
  - Documentation and cleaning of transport vehicles
  - Follow-up or reporting measures.

3. The EMS system works closely with many health partners. 

• EMS personnel include first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and emergency management officials.
• EMS personnel work closely with 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs, or call centers), the wider EMS system, healthcare facilities, the public health system, city and county health departments, state health departments, and CDC.

What is isolation and quarantine? What's involved?
Shorter Answer

1. Isolation and quarantine can help limit the spread of contagious disease.
2. Isolation separates infected people from others.
3. Quarantine separates individuals believed to be exposed who are not yet ill.

Longer Answer

1. Isolation and quarantine can help limit the spread of contagious disease.

• Quick action by health officials is needed to stop person-to-person spread of a contagious disease.
• Both isolation and quarantine have been used successfully to prevent the spread of communicable disease.
• People who have been exposed to a communicable disease might not know it
• Isolation separates infected people from others; quarantine separates individuals believed to be exposed who are not yet ill.

2. Isolation separates infected people from others.

• Isolation is a way to limit the spread of disease.
• Isolation is a standard public health practice for disease control.
• Isolation is a medical decision that can be legally enforced.
• Isolation typically involves putting an infected person in a separate room or special area, for example, of a hospital.
• Isolation protects healthy people and caregivers from disease.
• Isolation protects infected people from getting other diseases.
• Isolation protects family and friends of infected people from getting sick.
• Isolation allows for the delivery of specialized care to infected persons.
• Hospitals have plans that describe how to isolate patients.

3. Quarantine separates individuals believed to be exposed who are not yet ill.

• Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people.
• Quarantine is an action taken for an individual with a believed exposure who is not yet ill (not presenting signs/symptoms).
• To implement quarantine, a person is asked to remain separate from other people to avoid spreading infection if they become ill.
• Quarantine has been successfully used to prevent the spread of communicable disease.
• Quarantine may be voluntary or involuntary based on medical evaluation.
• The CDC has published guidelines on monitoring symptoms and controlling movement of persons that relate to quarantine.

Where will sick people be placed in the state if they are under isolation or quarantine orders?
Shorter Answer

1. Quarantine can be done at homes as well as at special facilities.
2. Special facilities may be needed if large numbers of people are involved.
3. Many communities have plans for quarantine procedures during a disease outbreak.

Longer Answer

1. Quarantine can be done at homes as well as at special facilities.

• Quarantine sites are determined in part by the number of cases.
• Based on medical evaluation, quarantine may be done at a private residence or specialized facility.

2. Special facilities may be needed if large numbers of people are involved.

• Facilities may be needed to quarantine many people in many locations, particularly individuals who become ill when they are not near their home.
• Local and state emergency plans identify facilities that can be used for quarantine.
• The federal government is working with states and cities to identify additional facilities for quarantine.

3. Many communities have plans for quarantine procedures during a disease outbreak.

• Disease control plans describe the equipment needed to implement quarantine.
• Disease control plans describe the supplies needed for quarantine.
• Disease control plans describe the medicines needed for quarantine.

Can quarantined (or isolated) people stay at home, or will they be forced to go to hospitals or some secure location?
Shorter Answer

1. In most cases, individuals are asked to voluntarily quarantine at home.
2. People in isolation may be cared for in their homes, in hospitals, or in designated healthcare facilities.
3. Quarantine and isolation measures require the trust and participation of the public.

Longer Answer

1. In most cases, individuals are asked to voluntarily quarantine at home.

• Quarantine is a public health measure used to separate or restrict the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious illness.
• Quarantined individuals do not have symptoms and may not be sick or contagious.
• Quarantine may involve a variety of control strategies including short-term, voluntary home confinement; restrictions on travel for those who may have been exposed; or restrictions on passage into and out of an area.

2. People in isolation may be cared for in their homes, in hospitals, or in designated healthcare facilities.

• Isolation is a public health measure that separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
• The decision of where to isolate a person is based on multiple factors including severity of illness, need for testing, and appropriateness of a home environment for isolation purposes.
• Seriously ill patients may be cared for in hospitals, while individuals with mild illness may be cared for at home.
• Patients who aren’t hospitalized should stay at home, except for getting medical care, and avoid contact with others until they are no longer contagious.
• The decision to end home isolation should be made with your doctor.

3. Quarantine and isolation measures require the trust and participation of the public.

• In most cases, quarantine and isolation are done voluntarily and participation of the public is necessary to stop the spread of contagious diseases.
• Federal, state, and local health officials have the authority to enforce quarantine and isolation if necessary.

Why isn't the U.S. government placing travel and other restrictions on people from any country that has COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. The U.S. has set travel and other restrictions on countries experiencing significant COVID-19 outbreaks.
2. In setting travel restrictions and other restrictions, experts balance risks, costs, and benefits.
3. CDC has established risk-based criteria for setting travel and other restrictions for COVID-19.

Longer Answer

1. The U.S. has set travel and other restrictions on countries experiencing significant COVID-19 outbreaks.

• U.S. border patrol agents are asking travelers about their recent travel history and distributing educational materials.
  - CDC has deployed additional staff to screen travelers at entry points.
• CDC has asked healthcare providers to be alert for travelers from countries with significant COVID-19 outbreaks.
• CDC provides a daily update of destinations to be avoided.

2. In setting travel restrictions and other restrictions, experts balance risks, costs, and benefits.

• Excessive travel restrictions may encourage evasion, deliberate self-concealment of illness, and illegal border crossings to avoid scrutiny and possible detection.
• Excessive travel restrictions can limit and restrict the movement of needed goods and services.
• Excessive travel restrictions may result in stigmatizing populations and impinging on civil liberties.
• U.S. travel restrictions may change as greater clarity is gained about COVID-19.

3. CDC has established risk-based criteria for setting travel and other restrictions for COVID-19.

• CDC’s risk assessment levels for travel restriction criteria are:
  - Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission and restrictions on entry by foreign nationals to the United States;
  - Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission;
  - Sustained (ongoing) community transmission; and
  - Limited community transmission.
• For up-to-date information, travelers should consult the CDC travel information web page106 or U.S. State Department travel advisory web page107
• If the spread of COVID-19 increases in other countries, travel notices or public health precautions such as quarantine procedures may be implemented as needed.

What actually happens in quarantine?
Shorter Answer

1. Quarantine is a public health measure used to limit the spread of contagious disease.
2. In most cases, individuals are asked to voluntarily quarantine at home.
3. Health departments can assist individuals with the quarantine process.

Longer Answer

1. Quarantine is a public health measure used to limit the spread of contagious disease.

• Quarantine separates or restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious illness.
• Quarantined individuals do not have symptoms and may not be sick or contagious.
• Quarantine is different from isolation, another common public health measure.
• Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

2. In most cases, individuals are asked to voluntarily quarantine at home.

• Public health officials regularly ask people who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
• Representatives from the health department will monitor these individuals and will provide further instructions as needed.
• Implementing quarantine measures requires the trust and participation of the public to help stop the spread of contagious diseases.

3. Health departments can assist individuals with the quarantine process.

• Health departments have plans in place to assist individuals with the quarantine process and often work with community organizations to provide key services.
• Health departments can assist individuals under quarantine with services that will allow them to stay home and limit their contact with others, including the delivery of food, prescriptions, and other basic necessities.
• Other services, including mental health resources or assistance talking with an employer may also be available.
• If you have specific questions or are having difficulty remaining at home during your quarantine, contact your health department for assistance.

How can individuals prepare for COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Plan for the possibility of social distancing strategies being implemented in your community.
2. Create a household plan of action.
3. Everyday basic hygiene is important to prevent infection.

Longer Answer

1. Plan for the possibility of social distancing strategies being implemented in your community.

• If COVID-19 becomes widespread, health officials may recommend social distancing actions that reduce face-to-face contact to limit exposure and illness.
• Social distancing measures may include canceling large public gatherings and closing schools.
• Parents should consider reaching out to their child’s school to learn how plans for early dismissals or online instruction would be implemented.
• Understand the plan for continuing education and social services (such as student meal programs) during school dismissals.
• Make arrangements for back-up care for children or elderly relatives in case their regular caregiver is sick or their school is closed.

2. Create a household plan of action.

• Meet with members of your household, relatives, friends, and neighbors to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
• Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications, including the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.
• If your child attends a college or university, encourage them to learn about the school’s plan for a COVID-19 outbreak.

3. Everyday basic hygiene is important to prevent infection.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  - Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

Who is most at risk and how can individuals prepare for COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Older adults and people with predisposing illnesses are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
2. Practicing everyday preventative measures is very important.
3. If you know someone who is at increased risk, help them stay healthy.

Longer Answer

1. Older adults and people with predisposing illnesses are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

• Older adults, and people who have a predisposing condition making them more susceptible to COVID-19, are at higher risk for getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.
• The vast majority of people with COVID-19 do not require hospital care.
• A smaller percentage of people with COVID-19 get severely ill with respiratory problems like pneumonia.

2. Practicing everyday preventative measures is very important.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  - Wash your hands especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces around the house with regular household cleaners.

3. If you know someone who is at increased risk, help them stay healthy.

• If you live with a person at increased risk, make sure to wash your hands every time you come in from outside.
• Consider running errands, such as picking up groceries, for people at risk of COVID-19 so they do not have to go out.
• Persons who have symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit the elderly in their homes or in nursing homes.

What can businesses do to prepare for COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Businesses should plan for extended absences of employees due to illness.
2. Businesses should apply infection control measures in the office.
3. Businesses should stay informed and clearly communicate updates to employees.

Longer Answer

1. Businesses should plan for extended absences of employees due to illness.

• Businesses can cross-train employees to carry out key functions so the workplace can operate when essential staff are out sick.
• Businesses should actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
• Businesses should consider expanding telework and ensure employees have what they need to work from home.
• Businesses should ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance, and that employees are aware of these policies.

2. Businesses should apply infection control measures in the office.

• Businesses should promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors, and customers.
• Businesses should put hand sanitizer dispensers in prominent places around the workplace.
• Surfaces (desks and tables) and objects (telephones and keyboards) in offices should be wiped with disinfectant regularly.
• Employees who report having a fever or respiratory illness upon arrival to work or who become sick during the work day should be separated from others and immediately sent home.
• Businesses should designate a separate area at work where sick employees can temporarily be isolated.

3. Businesses should stay informed and clearly communicate updates to employees.

• Businesses should determine how to get updated information from credible sources and relay information about the outbreak to employees and business partners.
• Businesses should ensure employees are aware of U.S. State Department and CDC travel advisories
• Businesses should reinforce key preventive measures for employees to include frequent hand washing and staying home while sick.

What is expected from the news media regarding COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. News media are vital for getting information about COVID-19 to interested and affected populations.
2. News media will be a valuable ally during a major COVID-19 outbreak.
3. Through effective media communication, public health officials can engage the public and help them to make informed and better decisions.

Longer Answer

1. News media are vital for getting information about COVID-19 to interested and affected populations.

• News media play a critical role in keeping the public informed about COVID-19.
• News media serve as an important source of information for the public about changes in the COVID-19 situation.
• News media provide key information about public concerns to public health officials.
• News media help inform the public about COVID-19 guidance, recommendations, and available services.

2. News media will be a valuable ally during a major COVID-19 outbreak.

• News media can quickly provide urgent information during a major COVID-19 outbreak.
• New media can reach large numbers of people during a major COVID-19 outbreak.

• News media can help public health officials reach major target audiences during a major COVID-
19 outbreak.

• News media can assist public health officials in countering rumors and misinformation.
• News media can assist public health officials in encouraging appropriate behaviors during a major COVID-19 outbreak.

3. Through effective media communication, public health officials can engage the public and help them to make informed and better decisions.

• News media can enhance public confidence in the ability of public health officials to deal with COVID-19.
• News media can raise awareness of actual or potential risks.
• News media can direct readers and viewers to federal, state, and local public health websites and other trusted sources of information about COVID-19.

Has the news media over-reacted and sensationalized COVID-19?
Shorter Answer

1. Characteristics of COVID-19 generate intense media interest.
2. COVID-19 creates many opportunities for news media sensationalism.
3. News media sensationalism can be tempered by effective risk communication.

Longer Answer

1. Characteristics of COVID-19 generate intense media interest.

• The American public is unfamiliar with COVID-19
• There is no vaccine or specific medicine for COVID-19.
• Invisible, deadly risk agents such as COVID-19 generate high levels of public fear and anxiety.
• The global COVID-19 outbreak has many scientific uncertainties.

2. COVID-19 creates many opportunities for news media sensationalism. 

• Missteps, mistakes, and disagreements are likely to be sensationalized by parts of the news media.
• COVID-19 presents the news media with many dramatic photographic and video opportunities.

3. News media sensationalism can be tempered by effective risk communication.
• Public health officials can temper media sensationalism by providing timely, accurate, and credible information.
• Public health officials can temper media sensationalism by being transparent.
• Public health officials can temper media sensationalism by acknowledging uncertainties.
• Public health officials can temper media sensationalism by being willing to admit mistakes.
• Public health can temper media sensationalism by expressing authentic care and acknowledging emotions.

COVID-19 Resource Links
784 6th St.
Phillipsburg,
KS
67661
Fax: 785-543-6850

Monday-Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Director
Pete Rogers
adminpchd@ruraltel.net
RN/APR
Genny Robben-Rahjes
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