A new coronavirus, COVID-19, has been identified as the cause of a cluster of severe pneumonia cases that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province China, in December 2019.
For the latest information about COVID-19 including how it spreads, prevention, treatment, and symptoms, visit the CDC’s website. Printable PDFs on “What you need to know” and “What to do if you are sick” are available in English, Spanish and Simplified Chinese.
What you should know?
Santa Cruz and Monterey County each have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Salud is working closely with the County Public Health Department and other health care partners to make sure we keep staff and patients safe and meet the needs of our community regarding the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
What is COVID-19?
It is a coronavirus, which is a large family of viruses that can infect animals and/or humans. COVID-19 is similar to viruses that cause SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and/or symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as coughing or difficulty breathing. With some viruses, the infectious period precedes symptoms and with other viruses it coincides with symptoms. We are not certain yet about how COVID-19 initially presents.
How is COVID-19 Transmitted?
Human-to-Human transmission is confirmed. COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.
How is COVID-19 treated?
There is currently no FDA approved medication for COVID-19. People infected with this virus should receive supportive care such as rest, fluids and fever control, to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
Is there a vaccine?
Currently, there is no vaccine available.
How can I best protect myself and patients?
Practice the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) 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.
- Standard household cleansers and wipes are effective in cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
Should I be tested for COVID-19?
Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Should I wear a face mask? Will that help protect me?
Masks do help to stop the spread of infection, so they can help if someone who is actively sick wears a mask. However, when it comes to COVID-19, it is unclear how effective protective masks are. Currently the CDC does not recommend masks for healthy individuals. If you are not sick and do not have symptoms, maintaining proper infection control such as frequent hand washing and cough etiquette is the best form of protection.