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Below is information regarding the COVID-19 virus and how to best handle battling the pandemic. For the most accurate, up-to-date information, visit one of these sources:

The information below was sourced from CDC. You can find more information here.

  • The virus causing COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus that has not been previously identified and is not the same as commonly circulated coronaviruses that cause mild symptoms, like the common cold.

    There are a number of different coronavirus diagnoses that a patient can receive – a patient with COVID-19 will be cared for differently than one with a common coronavirus diagnosis.

  • It is believed that COVID-19 is spread most commonly from person to person. A person infected with COVID-19 can spread the virus primarily through the droplets produced when that person coughs or sneezes. People who are near the infected person may get droplets in their mouth or nose, or inhale the droplets into their lungs. This is why social distancing is an important part of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

    For more information on how COVID-19 spreads, click here.

  • During this constantly changing situation, assessment of an individual’s risk is constantly changing. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

  • COVID-19 can affect anybody, regardless of age.

    Older individuals and those with existing or underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and COPD, are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms and requiring hospitalization.

  • The current COVID-19 case counts for the United States are updated regularly on the CDC’s website.

    Current COVID-19 case counts for the state of Ohio can be found on the Ohio Department of Health’s website.

    Fairfield County case counts for COVID-19 are available from the Fairfield Department of Health website.

  • COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, and a wide range of symptoms have been reported. Below are the most common symptoms that may indicate a person has COVID-19.

    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell

    Seek immediate medical attention, if you have any of these emergency warning signs:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Constant pain or pressure in your chest
    • New disorientation or inability to arouse
    • Blue tint in lips or face

    To find out more about the symptoms of COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

  • No. Children and adults experience similar COVID-19 symptoms, but children’s symptoms may appear to be more mild.

    For more information on COVID-19 and children, visit the CDC website.

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from person to person through the respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is thought that a person can spread COVID-19 whether or not they are showing symptoms.

    The best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others are outlined below.

    • Frequently wash your hands – use soap and water for at least 20 seconds
      • Especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom or being in a public place
      • If you do not have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
      • Learn more about proper handwashing here
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
    • Practice social distancing
      • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
      • Try to keep at least 6 ft of distance between yourself and others
      • Stay at home whenever possible
    • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when around others
      • Find more information on face coverings here
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow and then immediately clean your hands
    • Daily clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, countertops, faucets, sinks, toilets, light switches, doorknobs, handles, phones and keyboards
      • For more information on cleaning and disinfecting, click here
  • Most people with COVID-19 do not require treatment in a hospital and are able to quarantine at home and recover from the virus.

    If you are experiencing any emergency warning signs (difficulty breathing, constant pain or pressure in your chest, new disorientation or inability to arouse, blue tint in lips or face), seek immediate medical attention.

    Some recommendations for caring at home for someone with COVID-19 include:

    • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and clear liquids
    • Use over-the-counter medicines to treat fever and cough
    • Stay at home other than to receive medical care
    • Separate the person who is ill from others in the household
    • If you have to be around other people, wear a facemask if possible
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue – immediately throw the used tissue away and clean your hands
    • Clean your hands frequently by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or cleaning with a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid sharing personal items, such as: dishes, cups, utensils, towels or bedding
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
    • Monitor symptoms and seek medical attention if your illness gets worse

    For more information on what to do if you or someone in your home is sick, visit the CDC website.

  • Unfortunately, there are currently no medications that cure or prevent COVID-19. Antibiotics are only useful in fighting secondary bacterial infections, not the actual virus.

    While current immunizations – like flu and pneumonia vaccines – are extremely important, they are not effective against COVID-19. A specially formulated coronavirus vaccine will need to be created, tested and distributed to protect against the virus.

  • It is believed that COVID-19 is spread most commonly from person to person. Although a person is thought to be the most contagious when they are symptomatic (showing symptoms of the virus, or the sickest), the virus has also been found in people who are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms).

    It is important that a person showing symptoms of COVID-19 be isolated, either at home or a medical facility, until they are no longer at risk of infecting others. A person who has been released from isolation is not considered to present a risk of infecting other people.

  • According to CDC, “Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure.”

    The virus that causes COVID-19 has an incubation period (time between exposure and the appearance of the first symptoms) of 2 to 14 days. The quarantine period for COVID-19 is 14 days from the last date of exposure, which means that someone released from quarantine is not considered to present a risk of infecting other people because they have not developed COVID-19 during the incubation period.

  • It’s possible to be a carrier of the novel coronavirus without showing symptoms. This means that even if you feel healthy, you may be putting others at risk.

    To keep everyone safe, treat yourself as if you do have the virus, and change your behavior to keep from spreading it to others.

  • If you believe you have contracted COVID-19, you should call your healthcare provider, stay home and self-isolate. Most people with COVID-19 will recover at home with mild to moderate symptoms. Hospitalization and testing may be necessary if symptoms worsen or become severe.

  • Healthcare providers remain open and prepared to care for you. Many facilities have implemented new policies to protect you and your loved ones; fear and anxiety should not keep you from seeking the medical care you need.

    Contact your healthcare provider to learn more about appointment options and related safety precautions.

  • It is believed that coronaviruses are spread most commonly from person to person through respiratory droplets. According to CDC, there is currently no evidence that shows COVID-19 can be transmitted through food.

    Regardless, it is still important to follow general hygiene guidelines, including:

    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing or eating food
    • Use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing
    • Wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or going to the bathroom

    While it may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object, then touching their mouth, nose or eyes, there is likely a very low risk of contracting the virus from food products or packaging.

    COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, and more is still being learned about how this virus behaves. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

  • You can become infected with COVID-19 regardless of where you live, the weather or the temperature. Cases have been reported in countries with all types of climates – including hot, humid and sunny environments. It is not yet fully understood how weather and temperature affect the virus that causes COVID-19.

    The best way to protect yourself is to follow social distancing measures, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

  • Frequently consuming alcohol will not protect you from contracting COVID-19, and can increase your risk for additional health problems.

  • As a result of the widespread COVID-19 cases across the United States, CDC recommends that individuals wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth, when the person is in a public setting.

    Wearing a face covering is an additional recommendation, and does not take the place of social distancing, frequent hand washing or avoiding touching one’s face.

    Wearing a cloth face covering is not meant to protect the person wearing the mask, but can help to prevent you from spreading the virus to others.

    For more information on CDC’s recommendations regarding face coverings, and how to make your own, click here.

  • CDC has many recommendations on ways to prepare and steps to take if you or someone in your household is sick. You can find more information here.

    Basic guidelines include:

    • Stay at home unless you need medical care
    • Get plenty of rest and drink fluids
    • As much as possible, ensure that the person who is ill stays in a separate room, away from other people and pets
    • Monitor symptoms and follow any instructions from your healthcare providers
    • Seek immediate medical attention if the sick person is demonstrating any emergency warning signs:
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Ongoing chest pain or pressure
      • New confusion or non-responsiveness
      • Blue tint in lips or face
    • Do not share personal items, such as: dishes, cups, utensils, towels or bedding
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  • You should be frequently washing your hands by using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is especially important to wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom or being in a public place. Cleaning your hands after any of these actions can prevent germs from entering your body when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

    To properly wash your hands:

    • Wet your hands and apply soap
    • Rub your hands together with the soap to create a lather on the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds (the length of “Happy Birthday” sung through twice”)
    • Rinse your hands completely under running water
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry

    If you do not have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rubbing your hands together for at least 20 seconds, or until your hands are dry.

    You can find more information on proper handwashing on the CDC website.

  • CDC has a variety of detailed guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting your home. Click here to learn more. General recommendations include:

    • Wear gloves when cleaning or disinfecting
    • Use soap and water to routinely clean high touch surfaces, such as: doorknobs, light switches, handles, faucets, countertops, tables, sinks, phones and keyboards
    • After cleaning with soap and water, use an EPA-registered household disinfectant by following the instructions on the label
    • When laundering items, use the warmest water acceptable for the item
    • Help the sick person to follow any instructions from their healthcare provider and make sure they are taking any prescribed medications.
    • Try to do any necessary errands for the sick person, such as grocery shopping or filling prescriptions, so that they do not have to leave the house.
    • Make sure that the person who is sick is able to get lots of rest and stay well hydrated.
    • Take care of the person’s pet(s), so that their contact with their pet is as limited as possible.
    • Find out the contact information for the person’s healthcare provider and contact the provider if the sick person’s condition worsens.
    • Seek immediate medical attention if the sick person is demonstrating any emergency warning signs:
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Ongoing chest pain or pressure
      • New confusion or non-responsiveness
      • Blue tint in lips or face
    • Limit your contact with the person who is sick and be sure to properly wash your hands after direct contact with the person or anything they have handled (dishes, trash, laundry, etc.).
    • Monitor your own health for possible COVID-19 symptoms.

    For more information on caring for someone with COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

  • Even if you have not tested positive for COVID-19, you may have been affected in other ways. If you are in need of financial, housing or other assistance, please contact one of the organizations below.

  • We greatly appreciate the support and gratitude that our community has demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out more about how you can give back to our community, visit our COVID-19 relief page.