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Novel Coronavirus: Resources for the Greater Washington Area

Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

Following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, communities across the country are trying to prevent any further spread. While cases of COVID-19 have been documented in more than 60 countries and more cases are being reported in the United States, health officials at the local, national and international levels are working to increase awareness of the virus and help diminish misleading claims or false information.

During this uncertain time in our area, it's more important than ever to know the facts about this virus, how it spreads and how you can help protect not just yourselves, but your loved ones and vulnerable people around you. We've compiled a list of resources below from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, where you'll be able to keep up with the latest updates on the disease, including recommendations for testing and treatment, along with general mitigation strategies. 

How You Can Help Stop the Spread

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus

The virus is thought to be spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

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. But by following some basic steps, you can help proctect yourself and your loved ones.

Icon of washing hands

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Icon of a woman inside

Avoid close contact

person with cloth face covering

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Icon of a person using a tissue

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Icon of cleaning surfaces

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Icon of a sick person in bed

what to do if you are sick

  • Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • More information on what to do if you are sick.

Local Resources Where You Live

As COVID-19 spreads through more communities in our area, stay in touch with the latest updates and health advisories where you live. 

Local Headlines from WAMU

D.C.’s Daily Coronavirus Cases Surpass 200 For Two-Straight Days, Deaths Rise In Maryland

The District saw 220 new coronavirus cases on Thanksgiving, one of the highest daily case counts ever recorded during the pandemic.

Some Restaurants Hope To Survive The Winter With Plastic Bubbles. How Safe Are They?

It depends on who you're protecting yourself against, says a public health expert.

Community Spread Is Making Contact Tracing Harder In The D.C. Region

Contact tracers have struggled for months. Now, they are bracing for a possible unprecedented explosion of cases — and work — during the holiday season.

Montgomery County Imposes New Mask Rules, Sets Stricter Limits On Gatherings

The new rules take effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and follow similar moves in D.C. and Virginia.

Managing Anxiety & Stress

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Here are some recommendations from the CDC on things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditateexternal icon. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

For additonal information, including specific recommendations for parents and responders, go to the CDC website.

Latest from PBS NewsHour

A poem that extends a hand in our lonely times

Throughout the year's pain and distress caused by the pandemic, people have connected with the core theme of loneliness in Elizabeth Acevedo's poem. Yet the final, gentle moment, set inside a nail salon, is one of reaching out, and having someone reach back.

A poem that extends a hand in our lonely times

Throughout the year's pain and distress caused by the pandemic, people have connected with the core theme of loneliness in Elizabeth Acevedo's poem. Yet the final, gentle moment, set inside a nail salon, is one of reaching out, and having someone reach back.

A poem that extends a hand in our lonely times

Throughout the year's pain and distress caused by the pandemic, people have connected with the core theme of loneliness in Elizabeth Acevedo's poem. Yet the final, gentle moment, set inside a nail salon, is one of reaching out, and having someone reach back.

A poem that extends a hand in our lonely times

Throughout the year's pain and distress caused by the pandemic, people have connected with the core theme of loneliness in Elizabeth Acevedo's poem. Yet the final, gentle moment, set inside a nail salon, is one of reaching out, and having someone reach back.

A poem that extends a hand in our lonely times

Throughout the year's pain and distress caused by the pandemic, people have connected with the core theme of loneliness in Elizabeth Acevedo's poem. Yet the final, gentle moment, set inside a nail salon, is one of reaching out, and having someone reach back.

Latest from NPR

New York City Schools Will Reopen With New COVID-19 Testing Protocol

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening on Dec. 7.

New York City Schools Will Reopen With New COVID-19 Testing Protocol

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening on Dec. 7.

New York City Schools Will Reopen With New COVID-19 Testing Protocol

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening on Dec. 7.

New York City Schools Will Reopen With New COVID-19 Testing Protocol

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening on Dec. 7.

Fauci Warns Of 'Surge Upon A Surge' As COVID-19 Hospitalizations Hit Yet Another High

More than 91,000 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus on Saturday — over 6,000 of them on ventilators. With the holiday season fast approaching, health experts fear the worst is yet to come.

Map: The Real-time Spread of Coronavirus in the U.S.