There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
Healthcare facilities and clinicians should prioritize urgent and emergency visits and procedures now and for the coming several weeks. The following actions can preserve staff, personal protective equipment, and patient care supplies; ensure staff and patient safety, and expand available hospital capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic:
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Tools and resources external icons exist as part of healthcare system preparedness plans and are often referred to as Pandemic Plans. Consult your state or the local health department about specific plans for your community.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly and continues to affect communities across the United States differently. Some of the strategies used to slow the spread of disease in communities include postponing or canceling non-urgent elective procedures and using telemedicine instead of face-to-face encounters for routine medical visits.
Ensuring the delivery of newborn and well-child care, including childhood immunization, requires different strategies. Healthcare providers in communities affected by COVID-19 are using strategies to separate well visits from sick visits external icon. Examples include:
Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon
Separating patients spatially, such as by placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with good visits.
Collaborating with providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children.
Because of personal, practice, or community circumstances related to COVID-19, some providers may not be able to provide well-child visits, including the provision of immunizations, for all patients in their practice. If a practice can provide only limited well-child visits, healthcare providers are encouraged to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible. CDC is monitoring the situation and will continue to provide guidance.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
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 possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily the virus spreads
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.
There are laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC while medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers. All of these tests are Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panels, which can provide results in 4 to 6 hours.
Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Here is some information that might help in making decisions about seeking care or testing.
Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus. Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who you come in contact with.
CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.
Clinicians should work with their state and local health departments to coordinate testing through public health laboratories, or work with clinical or commercial laboratories
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, try calling your state or local health department or a medical provider. While supplies of these tests are increasing, it may still be difficult to find a place to get tested.
What to do after you are tested
If you test positive for COVID-19, see If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone. If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. It is possible that you were very early in your infection at the time of your specimen collection and that you could test positive later, or you could be exposed later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.
CDC expects that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. In the coming months, most of the U.S. population will be exposed to this virus. You should continue to practice all the protective measures recommended to keep yourself and others free from illness. See How to Protect Yourself.
Communicators and public health officials can help counter stigma during the COVID-19 response.
healthcare and those who may be part of any contact investigation.
Quickly communicate the risk or lack of risk from associations with products, people, and places.
Raise awareness about COVID-19 without increasing fear.
Share accurate information about how the virus spreads.
Speak out against negative behaviors, including negative statements on social media about groups of people, or exclusion of people who pose no risk from regular activities.
Be cautious about the images that are shared. Make sure they do not reinforce stereotypes.
Engage with stigmatized groups in person and through media channels including news media and social media.
Thank healthcare workers and responders. People who have traveled to areas where the COVID-19 outbreak is happening to help have performed a valuable service to everyone by helping make sure this disease does not spread further.
Share the need for social support for people who have returned from China or are worried about friends or relatives in the affected region. let’s protect our self by following the rules given to prevent the outbreak and spread of COVID 19