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> 2019 Novel Coronavirus

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

NYS hotline: call for information about the novel coronavirus, 1-888-364-3065.

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)Stay informed. Get updated information on coronavirus at these websites:

Section last reviewed Mar. 2, 2020

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Press Conference, March 9, 2020, 2:00 p.m.
Rice Conference Room, Tompkins County Health Department. Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director, Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator, Martin Stallone, M.D., CEO, Cayuga Health Systems

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Introduction and Overview

In January 2020, a new coronavirus - 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus - was detected in China that has not been previously found in humans. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. It has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States and New York State. The disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their health care provider before seeking treatment in person.

The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new virus and shouldn’t be confused with other coronaviruses that have been around for many years causing upper respiratory symptoms, like the common cold. Routine tests ordered by your health care provider, and done at a local hospital or lab, only test for one of the common coronaviruses. The 2019 novel coronavirus requires specialized testing. Be sure to ask your health care provider to explain any test that has been ordered for you.

This is a rapidly changing situation. Please regularly check this website, the New York State Department of Health website, and the CDC’s Novel Coronavirus webpage for updates.

Reviewed: 3/13/2020

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WHO infograph about proper hand washing While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact 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.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Source: NYSDOH accessed 2/18/2020

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The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

  • cough
  • fever
  • trouble breathing and
  • pneumonia

CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

How Does Novel Coronavirus Spread?

Most of the early reported cases had contact with a seafood and live animal market, suggesting an animal source of the outbreak. However, most cases are now likely to be spread from person to person by droplets when coughing. Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads.

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Important Health Information For Those Who Have Recently Traveled to an Affected Area

If you recently traveled to China and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about your travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others. Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
  • Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Source: NYSDOH reviewed 3/2/2020

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CDC Microsite
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