What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new illness first identified in late 2019. Find information about the virus, how to protect yourself, your family, and your community.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The disease caused by the new coronavirus has been named COVID-19.
COVID-19 was first identified in late 2019. It was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020.
How it Spreads
COVID-19 is spread by the respiratory droplets an infected person produces when they breathe, cough, sneeze, talk, or sing. If you are in contact with an infected person, the virus can enter your body if droplets get into your throat, nose, or eyes.
One of the best things you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. When outside of your home, practicing social distancing by keeping two meters (six feet) away from one another is something we can all do to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Masks are most effective when fitted, worn, and handled correctly. They act as a barrier and help stop the spread of droplets from a person’s mouth and nose when talking, laughing, yelling, singing, coughing, or sneezing.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Regular cleaning and disinfecting can help prevent the spread of illness including COVID-19. Frequently touched surfaces such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs, light switches, and tables should be cleaned at least daily. Other less frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly when visibly dirty. Make sure to clean surfaces with soap or detergent before disinfecting. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be broken down by soaps and detergents as well as appropriate disinfectants. Cleaning and disinfecting is a simple, effective, two-step process that is described below.
For non-medical information, call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319), 7:30am-8pm, 7 days a week.