What is COVID-19?
According to the PA Department of Health, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
How Can I Help Stop The Spread?
Get Vaccinated For COVID-19 - Visit www.vaccines.gov to locate a provider near you who has the vaccine. Call, email or sign up for an appointment online. Don't forget your second dose if you receive either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
Wear A Mask - The PA Department of Health continues to urge Pennsylvanians to follow CDC guidance for wearing a mask where required by law, rule, and regulations, including healthcare, local business and workplace guidance.
The CDC requires individuals to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs, such as airports and stations. In addition, all individuals should still follow guidance at workplaces, local businesses, long-term care facilities, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, prisons, and shelters.
Keep Your Physical Distance - It's important to keep a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
Wash Your Hands - Washing your hands is one of the most important steps you can take in staying healthy. When you wash, make sure you:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Practice Social Distancing - It's important to keep a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Avoid Touching Your Face - Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Clean Surfaces - Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces - especially when someone is ill.
How should I talk to my kids about COVID-19?
Tips for caregivers, parents, and teachers during infectious disease outbreaks from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).