What is coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.
How does the virus spread?
This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
How can I prevent the spread of coronavirus
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
What are the CDC's guidlines on school closures in the event of an outbreak/pandemic
The Center for Disease Control's guidance on school closures, and more information about how they consider that step may be found here.
Are resources available to help talk to children about coronavirus?
In a rapidly changing situation like the spread of coronavirus, misinformation can become common. There are several resources available to help convey correct and timely information to different age groups.
CDC Video: Coronavirus explained for kids
Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
Harvard Health Blog: How to talk to children about the coronavirus
Where can I get accurate information about the coronavirus?
Information on the spread of coronavirus us changing rapidly. Up to date information can be found at: