COVID-19, a new strand of coronavirus, is a respiratory virus first identified in China and has since been identified in other countries including the United States. There are currently zero confirmed cases in Delaware, but the City of Newark is closely monitoring events surrounding the virus. The health and wellbeing of all residents and visitors is our priority and, while the risk to the general public is low, we are taking necessary precautions to avoid health risks.
How is it spread?
The virus is spread mostly from person-to-person. This can occur in more than one way:
- Between people who are within approximately six feet from one another.
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on people nearby and inhaled into the lungs.
COVID-19 can also spread from contact with an infected object or surface.
Can you prevent the illness?
There is no vaccine for COVID-19, but the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure. To keep yourself and your family safe, exercise the following preventative hygiene habits:
- Practice good respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of tissue immediately and sanitize hands.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- In instances when soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Employers are encouraged to allow staff to telecommute under practical circumstances.
It is currently flu and respiratory disease season and flu activity is still high and could continue for a number of weeks. You are encouraged to get a flu shot if you not already done so.
What are the symptoms?
Confirmed COVID-19 infections have had varying symptoms, from individuals with little to no symptoms to serious illness and death. Common indications include:
- Shortness of breath
This is a new virus and there are things we still do not know such as how severe the illness can be, how well it is transmitted between people and to what extent it may spread in the US.