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Last Updated 3/24/2020

What is Covid-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus and was first discovered in China.

COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Click here for information on areas with confirmed cases.

The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s webpage. For more information click here.

How does the virus spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also 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 possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn more about the transmission of the virus from the CDC website by clicking here.

What are the Symptoms

People with COVID-19 suffer from mild to severe respritory complications along with the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath

Some people have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in certain cases death

What can people do to protect themselves?

People can protect themselves from this and many other viruses and illnesses through daily preventive acts

  1. Maintain at least a 6 ft distance from others
  2. Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  3. Do not touch eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  4. Wash hands regularly with hand soap for at least 20 seconds
  5. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t possible

The CDC is by far the best source for COVID-19 updates and information click here for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) CDC Main page. For specific pages and topics follow the links below:


  • “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Prevention & Treatment,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed March 24, 2020,, opens new window.
  • “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Symptoms,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed March 24, 2020,, opens new window.
  • “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,” World Health Organization, last accessed March 24, 2020,