Resources for the Community

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause respiratory tract infections. Some viruses cause mild colds, while others are more serious.

What is COVID-19?

This new form of coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” or COVID-19.

Dr. Lisa Maragakis, Sr Director of Infection Prevention for The Johns Hopkins Health System, explains what COVID-19 is and how to help prevent transmission. (Feb 20)

How Can You Protect Yourself From COVID-19?

Though there is still much to learn about COVID 19, here are some basic precautions to keep in mind:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Limit hand shaking and hugging
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, including work areas
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue and throw that tissue away
  • Consider limiting your attendance at large gatherings

What should you do if think you are sick with COVID-19?

Most cases of COVID-19 will not mean hospitalization, or even a trip to an emergency department. Hospital care is a resource that should be reserved for those with the most serious symptoms.

If you have recently traveled to any geographic area of concern or were in contact with someone with COVID-19, and you become sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away. Follow these steps:

  • Call your doctor or hospital emergency department before you go
  • Tell them about recent travel and close contacts (such as people in your household), who are ill
  • Wear a face mask if one is available
  • Follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines

If you do not have severe symptoms:

  • Continue to see your health care provider for regularly scheduled visits to address your other medical needs. Do not neglect your existing needs
  • Masks will not prevent you from getting the virus, but they can help prevent the spread of the illness because they stop big droplets from sneezes and coughs from becoming airborne or contaminating surfaces

Beating Coronavirus: Flattening the Curve, Raising the Line (Mar 20)

Dr. Glenn Wortmann, Sr Director of Infectious Disease at MedStar Health, answers questions about COVID-19 (Mar 11)