Submitted By Debbi Davis, Director, DC Health Department

   COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by an new  type of virus. It has spread quickly around the world and presently has caused a pandemic.

   Symptoms may include:

*Fever of 100.4 greater                                          * Loss of taste and smell

* Dry Cough                                                                       *Body aches

*Shortness of Breath                                                *Diarrhea and/or nausea                                                                                                                                 

   Symptoms may range from mild to severe. They may start  2-14 days after coming in contact with the virus.

   Some people who have COVID get very sick and have serious trouble breathing.  Some may require hospitalization. People at higher risk are older adults, people with chronic conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes.

   The COVID virus is spread from person to person mainly through close contact (being within about 6 feet) and respiratory droplets.

   Coughs and sneezes can spray tiny droplets onto nearby people or onto  surfaces that others then touch.

   Unwashed hands may transfer the virus to doorknobs, money, or other surfaces. 

   Items people share may contain the virus. The COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for a few hours or up to a few day, depending on the type of surface and the environment.

   Washing your hands   is one of the best ways to stop COVID.  You should wash your hands when they are visibly dirty, after coughing, sneezing , or blowing your nose.   

   WEAR A MASK. If you have a condition that makes breathing difficult with a mask you can try wearing a looser facial covering or face shield.

   SOCIAL DISTANCE. Limiting your contact with others can help slow the spread of the virus. This is why with the pandemic conditions we are facing it may become necessary to close schools and restaurants as well as events. You should also: avoid social gatherings, work from home whenever possible, avoid unnecessary  travel, social visits, and trips to the store. If you must go out or go to work stay at least 6 feet away from others to the fullest extent possible.

   Clean and disinfect surfaces and other used  items. Such surfaces as water faucets, door knobs, light switches, tables, telephones, handrails, and key boards are potential areas that virus can live on from one person to the next. Household cleaners and EPA registered disinfectants should be use and gloves should be worn.

   IF YOU GET SICK STAY HOME. Do not spread COVID 19. Call you healthcare provider, get tested. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. 

   Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes and throw it away immediately afterwards and wash your hands. Use you upper sleeve if no other alternative NOT your hands.