6 questions you might be asking about COVID-19

By The Health News Team | March 11, 2020
6 questions you might be asking about COVID-19

While news reports about the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, can be alarming, there is no need to panic. Being informed and prepared is the best way to protect yourself and your family.
Here are six common questions about COVID-19 that you might be asking:

1. Should I be worried about my own health or that of a loved one?

The County of San Diego is working closely with federal and state agencies to monitor the virus in our region. Follow the news coming out of these public health agencies:

2. What can I do to protect my family and myself?

The virus is mainly spread from person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It’s also possible COVID-19 may be spread by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Public health officials recommend that you:

  • Stay home when you are sick

  • If you leave your home, wear a face covering and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others

  • Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, eyes and mouth

  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing and sneezing, and then throw the tissue away and wash your hands

  • Frequently wash your hands — at least 20 seconds with hot water and soap — or use a hand disinfectant with at least 60% alcohol

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant wipes or sprays

  • Have a plan for yourself and your family if someone were to get sick

3. Who is at highest risk of complications if there is an outbreak in my area?

Generally, adults over the age of 60 and those with underlying health conditions — such as congestive heart failure, diabetes or lung disease are at higher risk of complications. The California Department of Public Health recommends that people at higher risk take precautions to prevent exposure to COVID-19.
While there have been some cases of young children with COVID-19, and a very small number of children experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) after having COVID-19, they do not appear to experience the same severity of symptoms as adults do. 

4. What should I do if I have symptoms of a respiratory illness?

If you have a fever and respiratory illness, it is recommended to call ahead to your health care provider before you show up at their facility. This will allow them to make proper arrangements for your visit.
In addition, stay home when sick, cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing, perform good hand-washing, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

5. Should I avoid large public gatherings?

Large public gatherings are prohibited. According to the Health and Human Services Agency of San Diego, anyone leaving their home should be vigilant and take preventative measures. If you go out, keep at least six feet away from others, and wear a face covering.

6. Should I wear a face covering?

Guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) encourages the use of face coverings by the public when leaving the home, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Employees who work at pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and gas stations in San Diego County are required to wear them, under the expanded public health order.
The use of face masks is crucial for health care workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings, whether at home or in a health care facility. Inappropriate use or hoarding of masks can affect supply chains and place these workers at higher risk of infection.

Learn what Sharp HealthCare is doing to screen for COVID-19.

This story was updated on June 17, 2020.

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