Skip to main content
CatLink

Sign into the Catawba College community portal:

Login to CatLink

Future Students

Apply online or check the status of your Admissions application:

Admission Portal

REMAIN AT CATAWBA
Catawba.edu/RemainAtCatawba  |  Take the Pledge  |  Ask a Question

Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus

Updated 8/17/20

FAQs for Catawba College Employees

Note about CDC’s Decision-Making Chart, which is referenced in several answers below: Please note this chart is dated February 28, 2020, so employees should follow the advice of government officials or their healthcare provider. We will replace the link, if necessary when a new version of the chart is released, or note it here.
What can employees do to avoid this virus and to stem the spread of the virus?
What can employees do to avoid this virus and to stem the spread of the virus?

 The advice from the CDC

  • Know how COVID spreads.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Monitor your health daily.

The CDC’s flyer “Stop the Spread of Germs” is here.

What do I do if I am sick?
What do I do if I am sick?

The CDC advice is as follows: 

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a cloth covering your nose and mouth if you are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

The CDC’s list of Coronavirus (COVID-19 symptoms is here

The College has posted a self-reporting form for employees, and a separate form for students, on the College’s COVID-19 webpage. You may locate the forms here. The employee self-reporting form will be routed the Director of Human Resources, and the student self-reporting form will be routed to the Dean of Student. The College will maintain the privacy of this information to the extent required by law.

How may I decide whether to be tested or seek care for COVID-19?
How may I decide whether to be tested or seek care for COVID-19?

See the CDC website for guidance on when you should be tested or seek care, how to get tested, and what to do after being tested.

When may I discontinue isolation if I was sick with COVID-19?
When may I discontinue isolation if I was sick with COVID-19?

Per the CDC, people with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:

(a)   If you believe or know you had COVID-19, and you had symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • At least ten (10) days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved.

Depending on your healthcare provider’s advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you are tested, you can be around others when you have no fever, respiratory symptoms have improved, and you receive two (2) negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.

(b)   I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • Ten (10) days have passed since test.

Depending on your healthcare provider’s advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you are tested, you can be around others after you receive two (2) negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above in response (a) to this FAQ for “I think or know I had COVID, and I had symptoms.”

In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and local health department. The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.

What if I am sick with those symptoms but do not have enough sick, personal, or vacation time?
What if I am sick with those symptoms but do not have enough sick, personal, or vacation time?

Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020.

The College posted a self-reporting form for employees, and a separate form for students, on the College’s COVID-19 webpage. You may locate the forms here. The employee self-reporting form is routed the Director of Human Resources, and the student self-reporting form is routed to the Dean of Students. The College will maintain the privacy of this information to the extent required by law. 

What if I need to stay home with a sick relative with the symptoms listed above but do not have enough sick, personal, or vacation time?
What if I need to stay home with a sick relative with the symptoms listed above but do not have enough sick, personal, or vacation time?

Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020.

What if I suspect an employee is sick but the employee has not yet come forward?
What if I suspect an employee is sick but the employee has not yet come forward?

If an employee has shared that he or she feels ill, then the employee’s supervisor may direct the employee to work from home or take sick time. This should be done with emphasis on the employee’s well-being. If an employee appears to be ill but has not said anything, and responds to inquiries with assurances he or she is fine, the College has to take the employee’s word for it unless you observe the employee is not able to perform his or her job functions. If that is the case, notify either Drew Davis at 704-637-4227 or dhdavis18@catawba.edu or Meredith Cole at 704-637-4116 or mncole19@catawba.edu for assistance. Be careful not to make assumptions and discriminate against anyone. Work together and support employees and prevent expressions of prejudice and aggression.

What if an employee travels away from home within the United States?
What if an employee travels away from home within the United States?

Per the CDC, COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

If you are thinking about traveling away from your local community, ask:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going? You can get infected while traveling.
  • Is COVID-19 spreading in your community? Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can spread COVID-19 to others while traveling.
  • Will you or those you are traveling with be within six (6) feet of others during or after your trip? Being within six (6) feet of others increases your chances of getting infected and infecting others.
  • Are you or those you are traveling with more likely to get very ill from COVID-19?
    Individuals who have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should limit their travel.
  • Do you live with someone who is more likely to get very ill from COVID-19?
    If you get infected while traveling you can spread COVID-19 to loved ones when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms.
  • Does the state or local government where you live or at your destination require you to stay home for fourteen (14) days after traveling? Some state and local governments may require people who have recently traveled to stay home for fourteen (14) days.
  • If you get sick with COVID-19, will you have to miss work or school?
    People with COVID-19 disease need to stay home until they are no longer considered infectious. 

If an employee returns from such travel please ask him or her to work from home during that self-isolation period. If you need help with that conversation, please contact either Drew Davis at 704-637-4227 or dhdavis18@catawba.edu or Meredith Cole at 704-637-4116 or mncole19@catawba.edu for assistance. 

The CDC Travel FAQs are located here.

What if an employee travels internationally?
What if an employee travels internationally?

The CDC advises you remain home for fourteen (14) days from the time you returned home from international travel. During this fourteen (14) day period, take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two (2) times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing. Use this temperature log to monitor your temperature.
  2. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school.
  3. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
  4. Keep your distance from others (about six (6) feet or two (2) meters)

If an employee returns from such travel please ask him or her to work from home during that self-isolation period. If you need help with that conversation, please contact either Drew Davis at 704-637-4227 or dhdavis18@catawba.edu or Meredith Cole at 704-637-4116 or mncole19@catawba.edu for assistance.

The CDC Travel FAQs are located here.

When may an employee return to work after having these symptoms?
When may an employee return to work after having these symptoms?

In general, after having symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath that were not diagnosed as COVID-19, an employee may return to work once he or she feels well again and has been fever-free for at least 24 hours, or once cleared by his or her doctor or a public health official. A request by a public health entity or a medical practitioner that someone quarantine or self-isolate overrides all other guidance. Any employee who has been instructed or advised by a public health entity or medical practitioner to self-quarantine or self-isolate must comply.

What if an employee has been exposed to someone who is sick with COVID-19?
What if an employee has been exposed to someone who is sick with COVID-19?

The CDC advises anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine. This includes people who previously had COVID-19 and people who have taken a serologic (antibody) test and have antibodies to the virus.

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within six (6) feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least fifteen (15) minutes;
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19;
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them);
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils; or
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

Steps to take

  • Stay home for fourteen (14) days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • Watch for fever (100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • If possible, stay away others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19

The College has posted a self-reporting form for employees, and a separate form for students, on the College’s COVID-19 webpage. You may locate the forms here. The employee self-reporting form will be routed the Director of Human Resources, and the student self-reporting form will be routed to the Dean of Student. The College will maintain the privacy of this information to the extent required by law.

What if an employee has a serious health condition and/or compromised immunity?
What if an employee has a serious health condition and/or compromised immunity?

COVID-19 is more dangerous to those who are on chemotherapy, have weakened hearts or diabetes, or who have conditions impacting their immune systems. Should COVID-19 be present in or close to our community, employees with conditions making them more vulnerable may request to work from home or other accommodation by contacting either Drew Davis at 704-637-4227 or dhdavis18@catawba.edu or Meredith Cole at 704-637-4116 or mncole19@catawba.edu for assistance. We will have a streamlined, confidential process for managing these requests. 

The CDC Household Checklist provides guidance for those at a higher risk of severe illness.

What is my role is helping control stigma or discrimination associated with the COVID-19?
What is my role is helping control stigma or discrimination associated with the COVID-19?

One of the most important things we can do is to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of those seeking health care and those who may be part of any contact investigation. HIPAA prevents us from talking about those who have serious disease. Understand Catawba is working to protect the safety of our community while also respecting the privacy rights of every individual in the community. You can do that by educating yourself with the resources below and then sharing accurate information with your employees about the virus and how it spreads.

Where can I get valid, up-to-date information about COVID-19?
Where can I get valid, up-to-date information about COVID-19?

The most reliable sources of information are the CDC and the World Health Organization. For Catawba-specific information, see Catawba.edu/coronavirus.

I’m confused about the use of sick and vacation time for staff. Can you make that clearer?
I’m confused about the use of sick and vacation time for staff. Can you make that clearer?

See various situations and the use of leave, below: 

Employee is ill with COVID-19
Employee may use sick leave. Once all sick leave is exhausted the employee may choose to use vacation or personal days, or to take time as unpaid. Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020.

Employee is quarantined because of exposure to someone infected with COVID-19

Employee must stay home. Employee may use sick leave. Once all sick leave is exhausted the employee may choose to use vacation or personal days, or to take time as unpaid. Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020. 

Employee is needed to stay home to care for a family member who is ill with COVID-19
Employee may use sick leave. Once all sick leave is exhausted the employee may choose to use vacation or personal days, or to take time as unpaid. Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020. 

Employee needs to stay home with a small child whose school has closed because of COVID-19
Employee may use sick leave. Once all sick leave is exhausted the employee may choose to use vacation or personal days, or to take time as unpaid. Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020.

Employee is in a high-risk group as defined by the CDC and requests to work his or her full schedule from home
After completion and approval of "COVID-19 Request for Accommodation" form, employee may work from home, and regular pay will be uninterrupted.

Employee is in a high-risk group as defined by the CDC and has work that can be done from home but not enough to fill his or her full schedule
After completion and approval of "COVID-19 Request for Accommodation" form, the employee may do that work which can be done from home and fill out the balance of pay with sick leave. Once all sick leave is exhausted the employee may choose to fill out the balance of pay with vacation or personal days, or to take time as unpaid. Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020.

Employee is in a high-risk group as defined by the CDC and needs to stay home but cannot do his or her work from home
Employee may use sick leave. Once all sick leave is exhausted the employee may choose to use vacation or personal days, or to take time as unpaid. Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020. 

Employee is not in a high risk group as defined by the CDC but is worried about potential exposure to the virus and does not come to work
With proper notice to the supervisor, employee may use vacation and or personal days to be paid for the time away from work. Sick days may not be used in this situation. Once vacation and personal days are exhausted employee will be unpaid and employee may be terminated for failure to attend work. Effective August 1, the College renewed the ten (10) additional days (equals 80 hours) of personal leave needed due to COVID-19 related absences previously provided by the College. These ten (10) days are not subject to the College’s leave payout should an employee depart the College after advancement of such leave and will expire effective December 31, 2020.

Employee can do his or her work from home and requests to work from home
The supervisor considers this request and approves or denies it based on business needs and consistency of treatment for similarly situated employees.


Division leader asks employee to work from home, to test ability to do so or to ensure that cross-trained teams could not all be exposed to COVID-19 at the same time
Regular pay continues uninterrupted.

My employee is in a high risk group and wants to stay home. Where does he or she get the COVID-19 Request for Accommodation form mentioned in the chart above?
My employee is in a high risk group and wants to stay home. Where does he or she get the COVID-19 Request for Accommodation form mentioned in the chart above?

Anyone in the Catawba College community can access the form through this link. For privacy reasons, the employee will return this form to either Drew Davis or Meredith Cole in Human Resources. HR will communicate to the employee and the manager when the accommodation is approved.

I have gotten a call from someone outside the College asking about our coronavirus response. I know I should not speak as a representative of the College. To whom should I address these calls?
I have gotten a call from someone outside the College asking about our coronavirus response. I know I should not speak as a representative of the College. To whom should I address these calls?

Individual employees should not be answering questions from outside the College about the College’s response to COVID-19. Depending upon the nature of the caller, here’s where you should refer them: 

  • Call from the press, refer to Jared Tice at jrtice18@catawba.edu or 704-754-1452.
  • Call from alumni, refer to Meg Dees at mkdees12@catawba.edu or 704-637-4815.
  • Call from parent or other family member of a student, refer to the Office of Student Affairs at 704-637-4410.
  • Call from other members of the public, refer to Jared Tice at jrtice18@catawba.edu or 704-754-1452.
Does the College plan to provide refunds to students for room and board during the period the College transitioned to virtual instruction?
Does the College plan to provide refunds to students for room and board during the period the College transitioned to virtual instruction?

On May 4, 2020, Interim President Clapp announced the Catawba College Board of Trustees approved a Policy of Credit/Refunds for Spring 2020 Room and Board Related to COVID-19 Pandemic.

What if I need assistance from the Information Technology Department (IT) while working remotely?
What if I need assistance from the Information Technology Department (IT) while working remotely?

Instructions and guides for basic remote working tasks may be located on the IT Remote Working website, which may be located here.

If you need direct assistance from IT, contact the IT Help Desk at 704-637-4666. IT will staff the on-campus Help Desk on Mondays through Fridays from 9AM-11AM.

At other times or if on-campus Help Desk staff are assisting other callers, your call will route to the College’s 24/7 off-campus help desk. If the issue is not something the off-campus service is able to resolve, it escalates the issue to the on-campus help desk through Footprints. A College IT staff member will return your call or assist you with your issue through Footprints.

May I post a sign or notice on my office door or in my office suite asking visitors to observe social distancing?
May I post a sign or notice on my office door or in my office suite asking visitors to observe social distancing?

Absolutely. We ask you post this sign

How does an employee, student, or family member self-report exposure, or possible exposure, to COVID-19?
How does an employee, student, or family member self-report exposure, or possible exposure, to COVID-19?

The College has posted a self-reporting form for employees, and a separate form for students, on the College’s COVID-19 webpage. You may locate the forms here. The employee self-reporting form will be routed the Director of Human Resources, and the student self-reporting form will be routed to the Dean of Student. The College will maintain the privacy of this information to the extent required by law.

Where may I locate information from my health, dental, and vision insurers regarding COVID-19?
Where may I locate information from my health, dental, and vision insurers regarding COVID-19?

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (“BCBS”) provides coverage and waives cost-sharing (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) for COVID-19 testing or for a doctor visit or call to determine if testing is necessary. Specifically, there will be no member cost-share for COVID-19 testing or screenings to determine if a testing is needed through virtual care visits, outpatient office visits, urgent care visits, or ER visits. The latest BCBS Coronavirus information is available on the BCBSNC website. 

Guardian, the College’s dental and vision insurance provider, maintains its COVID-19 website here and a list of FAQs here.

May the College reassign me to another position during this pandemic?
May the College reassign me to another position during this pandemic?

Yes. Catawba reserves the right to reassign employees with lessened workloads, where possible, to help complete the work that is most pressing during this pandemic.

How Can I Know If the College Will Transition Back to Remote-Only Classes or a Remote-Only Workforce?
How Can I Know If the College Will Transition Back to Remote-Only Classes or a Remote-Only Workforce?

Catawba developed a decision plan for transitioning back to remote learning and a remote-only workforce. The Go Remote/Re-Exit Plan includes four (4) stages, color coded from Green to Red, and is based on a non-exhaustive list of internal and external factors. This Plan may be located in the Information for Students and Information for Employees sections of the Return to Catawba webpage

Additionally, the color of the Return to Catawba banner near the top of the Catawba webpage will match the current Go Remote stage.

 

Coronavirus Basics

What is a novel coronavirus?
What is a novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

Why is the disease called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?
Why is the disease called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, 'CO' stands for 'corona,' 'VI' for 'virus,' and 'D' for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV".
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best for naming of new human infectious diseases.

Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?
Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?

People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine. Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.

How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?
How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?

People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.

 

How It Spreads

What is the source of the virus?
What is the source of the virus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people.

How does the virus spread?
How does the virus spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It's important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community ("community spread") in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
  • Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?
Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

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.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?
Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

What is community spread?
What is community spread?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

 

How to Protect Yourself

Am I at risk for COVID-19 in the United States?
Am I at risk for COVID-19 in the United States?

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC's Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

How can I help protect myself?
How can I help protect myself?

Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.

What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.

Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?
Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?
What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: stock up on supplies; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick; limit close contact and wash your hands often; and avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel. If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor. 

 

Symptoms & Testing

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever1, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.

Should I be tested for COVID-19?
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.

Your healthcare professional will work with your state's public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

How do you test a person for COVID-19?
How do you test a person for COVID-19?

State and local health departments who have identified a person under investigation (PUI) should immediately notify CDC's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to report the PUI and determine whether testing for COVID-19 at CDC is indicated. The EOC will assist local/state health departments to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately to CDC, including during afterhours or on weekends/holidays.

Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?
Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person's sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.

For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.

 

Latest CDC Updates

What is CDC doing about COVID-19?
What is CDC doing about COVID-19?

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. CDC works 24/7 to protect people's health.

For the latest updates on COVID-19, visit the CDC website:

CDC Website

 


Source: The CDC Website and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases