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Posted on: March 16, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID19) Information

Corona Virus

About the Virus

  • Coronavirus (or Covid-19) is a respiratory virus with symptoms similar to the flu. They include coughing, shortness of breath and fever. Some patients have had other symptoms including muscle aches, headache, sore throat, or diarrhea. Wearing a mask will not help prevent getting the disease, but if you are sick, wearing a mask can help you from infecting others. While there is no vaccine for the COVID-19, there is still time to receive the annual seasonal flu vaccine. The flu season can last through May and this is a crucial time to maintain the highest level of health possible. The CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States. Read full recommendation.

How the disease spreads

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. ◦Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Take steps to protect yourself - wash your hands

  • 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.

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.
  • For the best information and resources, please monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or the Minnesota Health Department for daily updates. 
  • The Minnesota Department of Health also provides a public hotline at 651-201-3920 for questions or concerns.

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