Novel Coronavirus Prevention

Respiratory etiquette, handwashing, and staying home when sick still key 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, in 2019, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations, including the United States. The virus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19).

Currently, a vaccine is not available for COVID-19. Until a vaccine is developed, community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes. 

To help keep your employees, volunteers, students, and ministry attendees healthy, learn more about the preventive steps your organization can take to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus by visiting these CDC web pages:

Stay in Touch with Experts

Look for reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and information from your state and local health and emergency preparedness officials. The CDC issues updates about the coronavirus, cases in the U.S. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

CDC Updated Report:

Everyday Precautions Help Prevention

The CDC recommends the following everyday preventive measures for everyone – including employees, volunteers, ministry attendees, and students:

Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. 

Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.

Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol.

Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops) with the cleaners typically used. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label.

Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down before each use.


Additional Resources

Personal Protective Measures

During an outbreak in your community, CDC recommends the everyday preventive measures listed above—especially staying home when sick—and taking these additional measures:

  • Keeping away from others who are sick.
  • Limiting face-to-face contact with others as much as possible
  • Consulting with your healthcare provider if you or your household members are at high risk for COVID-19 complications
  • Wearing a facemask if advised to do so by your healthcare provider or by a public health official
  • Staying home when a household member is sick with respiratory disease symptoms, if instructed to do so by public health officials or a health care provider (Voluntary Home Quarantine)

Coronavirus in Your Community = Community Measures 

If COVID-19 disease is occurring in your community, state and local public health authorities may decide to implement temporary closures or dismissals of childcare facilities and schools. They may also implement other social distancing measures that increase the physical space between people, including:

  • Workplace social distancing measures, such as replacing in-person meetings with teleworking
  • Modifying, postponing, or cancelling mass gatherings.

NOTE: Decisions about the implementation of community measures will be made by local and state officials, in consultation with federal officials as appropriate, and based on the scope of the outbreak and the severity of illness. Implementation will require extensive community engagement and ongoing and transparent public health communications.

Global efforts at this time are focused concurrently on lessening the spread and impact of this virus. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat.

Used with Permission
Posted March 2, 2020 - Last update March 23, 2020