About COVID-19: Facts, FAQ’s, & Prevention

General Facts about COVID-19:

  1. Older people (60+) and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according the the CDC. However, people of all ages can contract the illness and they can suffer serious symptoms. 
  2. The coronavirus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 
  3. The virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can create in those droplets. The virus can also spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it. If that person touches their mouth, face, or eyes the virus can make them sick according to the WI Department of Health Services. 
  4. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of smell and taste. 
  5. Emergency signs include pain and pressure in the chest, confusion, and bluish lips or face. 
  6. The CDC believes symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after contact with an infected person. 
  7. DHC recommends that taking these steps to help stop the spread of virus helps: 
    • Stay at home
    • Limit your physical interactions with people
    • Keep at least six feet apart from others
    • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water. 
    • Make essential trips no more than once a week
    • Covering coughs and sneezes
    • Avoiding touching your face
  8. The virus originated in Wuhan, China. The spread started in December 2019

How to Protect Yourself

  1. Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  2. Avoid close contact
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick, including:
      • People aged 60 years and older. 
      • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
      • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to sever asthma
      • People who have serious heart problems
      • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment, smokers, bone marrow or organ transplant recipient, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications. 
      • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] greater than 40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
      • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk of severe viral illness.
  3. Stay home if you’re sick
    • Stay home if you re sick, except to get medical care. 
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. 
    • Throw used tissues in the trash. 
    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  5. Clean and disinfect
    • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sicks. 
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. 

Mental Self-Care Tips

  1. Acknowledge the Stress
    • Know that any anxiety and fear is normal. 
    • Talk to others about your feelings. 
    • Take breaks from the news. 
  2. Stay Connected Online
    • Have a dinner party over video chat. 
    • Host an online book club. 
    • Check in with friends and family. 

Common Questions:

  1. What is community spread?
    • 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. 
  2. Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?
    • Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom. In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely a very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipping over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated or frozen temperatures. 
  3. Can I get COVID-19 from touching a surface or object with the virus on it?
    • It may be possible that 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.