Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The outbreak first started in China, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other areas, including the United States. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Those who are immunocompromised and the elderly are at highest risk for complications.
Symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets enter the body via the mouth and nose of a nearby individual.
Close contact increases your risk for COVID-19, including:
- Being within approximately 6 feet of an individual with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
- Having direct contact with body fluids (such as blood, phlegm, and respiratory droplets) from an individual with COVID-19.
To protect yourself from exposure:
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Minimize contact with frequently touched surfaces.
To protect your business:
- Send home or separate anyone who becomes sick.
- Encourage and support your employees’ personal health and recommend they stay home when sick.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Create an exposure mitigation plan utilizing this information.