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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 primarily spread from person to person, either from those who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

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.

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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.
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Avoid close contact

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Stay home if you are sick

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Cover coughs and sneezes

  • 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 and immediately wash your hands.
Icon of a person wearing a facemask

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
  • If you are NOT sick, you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
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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. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection to clean surfaces that may be dirty.

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

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Is ‘Still Not Satisfied’ With Trump Administration Response

Hogan speaks to NPR's Rachel Martin about President Trump's claim that there's no longer a lack of coronavirus testing kits.

Some Local Coronavirus Aid Groups Are Having Trouble Accessing Money Raised On GoFundMe

"This is not sustainable, I can't do it long term."

D.C.’s Medical Marijuana Dispensaries And Delivery Services Are Facing Record Demand

And the District's thriving gray market is stepping in.

Social Distancing Is Likely To Clear Up D.C.’s Air Quality — At Least For Now

Other areas across the world have seen cleaner water and air as the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay home.

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

Too little too late? Experts decry Mexico virus policy delay

Some experts warn the sprawling country of 129 million is acting too late and testing too little to prevent the type of crisis unfolding across the border in the U.S.

Those without broadband struggle in a stay-at-home nation

While more people have been connected in recent years, tens of millions still lack access to high-speed internet because phone and cable companies hesitate to invest in far-flung rural areas.

U.S. restrictions on movement likely to persist as death toll tops China's

The U.S. death toll from novel coronavirus has now exceeded that of China. While Italy and Spain have recorded many more deaths, the U.S. has the most confirmed cases of the illness. Dozens of states have limited residents' movement outside their homes. And in New York, the national epicenter of the outbreak, a convention center has been converted into an overflow hospital. Amna Nawaz reports.

For health care workers fighting COVID-19, crisis spurred innovation

In response to growing strain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, health care professionals are coming up with new workarounds and innovations to provide the best care possible to their patients.

Surge in deaths overwhelms New York's morgues, hospitals

It has become a grim ritual outside New York City's hospitals: workers in protective gear loading the bodies of coronavirus victims into refrigerated trailers.

Latest from NPR

Chicago Public Health Commissioner: 'We Want To Be Ahead Of This'

Experts worry about new hotspots in cities including Chicago. Dr. Allison Arwady says the city is relatively well prepared but would still not be able to handle the predicted wave of hospitalizations.

Who's Sickest From COVID-19? These Conditions Tied To Increased Risk

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report finds 78% of COVID-19 patients in the U.S. requiring admission to the intensive care unit had at least one underlying condition.

France Announces Plan To Aid Domestic Abuse Victims During Coronavirus Crisis

Confinement can create "fertile ground for domestic violence," says the country's minister for gender quality. France is also creating support sites for women at supermarkets and pharmacies.

Turkmenistan Has Banned Use Of The Word 'Coronavirus'

Reporters Without Borders says the government has forbidden state-controlled media from using the word and ordered its removal from health brochures distributed at hospitals, schools and workplaces.

Report of Drop in Hospitalizations Sounds Like Good News, But There's a Catch

Washington State reports dropping hospitalizations, and hospitals in San Francisco seeing less patient load than feared. But those facts require context.