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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is COVID-19?

What Is Coronavirus (Covid-19)?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, particularly those in persons with underlying severe and chronic health issues, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

How contagious is COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies are involved in active investigations to learn more about how this virus is spread. Person-to-person spread has been reported, though it’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people.

What is the incubation period for this virus?

The incubation period is the time between exposure to a pathogen and the appearance of the first symptoms. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as many as 14 days after exposure. This is based on the incubation periods for similar viruses.

How can I protect myself from respiratory infections?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and disinfect your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you haven’t already been immunized against the flu, contact University Health Care at Pace University to schedule your free flu shot.

What is social distancing and why is it important?

Social distancing means remaining out of crowded public places where close contact with others may occur, such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums; avoiding mass gatherings; and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. The goal of social distancing is to limit exposure to infectious bacteria and viruses during a communicable disease outbreak and help alleviate the strain on health care providers.

Is a surgical mask/face mask helpful in preventing transmission of COVID-19?

From the CDC: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission." If you see someone wearing a mask, do not assume that they are at risk. There are cultural reasons for wearing a mask that have nothing to do with COVID-19.

Where can I get more information on COVID-19?

For up-to-date information, please check the following websites: