About COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report a novel (new) coronavirus first detected in China has been detected in locations internationally, including the United States. The virus is named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019,” which is abbreviated COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.

What is COVID-19 and what causes it?

COVID-19 is caused by a virus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Click here for more information about the source and spread of COVID-2019.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports official names have been announced for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”) and the disease it causes. The official name for the disease is coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The official name for the virus is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Read more about why the disease and virus have different names here.

How does COVID-19 spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus may spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, or being within close contact with them, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.
COVID-19 transmission information

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The CDC reports a range of symptoms may be possible, from mild to severe, and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other, more common viruses such as the flu. Taking precautions to avoid contracting or spreading the flu or other viruses is important for the health of the Appalachian Community, and can also ease your concerns about COVID-19 exposure.
Read more about COVID-19 symptoms

What is my risk of contracting COVID-19?

The CDC considers COVID-19 to be a serious public health threat, but the current, immediate health risk to the general American public is considered low at this time. The CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions, such as implementing travel bans against any non-essential travel to China, and the situation is being continuously monitored.
COVID-19 cases in the United States

Traveling to and from certain areas may put you at increased risk. App State's COVID-19 travel information.

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC recommends additional everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, as preventative measures for reducing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and 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.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

Read about COVID-19 prevention on the CDC website

Read about symptoms on the CDC website