Friday, June 25, 2021
Frequently

Frequently Asked Questions

The headquarters and warehouses have been shut down. Hospitals are scrambling around for equipment and beds. With many people being forced to stay at home, people working in grocery stores and retail stores are now essential workers.

The crisis has given rise to uncertainty about what used to be worldly tasks for many people: is this doorknob safe to touch? Can I go to the gym or do my own laundry? Can I please hug my grandparents?

We know you've got concerns about remaining alive, what to do if you've lost your work, what's happened to your retirement savings, which companies are still running, and why.

About CoronaVirus (Covid-19)

Q: What is 2019 novel coronavirus?

A: 2019 novel (new) coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Q: Why is COVID-19 such a big deal? Isn’t this like the flu?

A: A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that 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.

This risk to specific populations means that the CDC and ISDH are asking individuals to practice everyday precautions to protect high-risk individuals. This includes staying home when sick, practicing effective handwashing, disinfecting common areas often and avoiding large gatherings.

Q: Why is COVID-19 such a big deal? Isn’t this like the flu?

A: A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that 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.

This risk to specific populations means that the CDC and ISDH are asking individuals to practice everyday precautions to protect high-risk individuals. This includes staying home when sick, practicing effective handwashing, disinfecting common areas often and avoiding large gatherings.

Q: How is the virus spread?

A: This virus originally originated from an animal source but is now spreading from person to person. 
The CDC urges people to exercise social distancing by avoiding meetings of more than 10 individuals and keeping 6-foot gap from others.

 

Q: Is 2019-nCoV the same as the MERS-CoV or SARS virus?

A: No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The recently emerged 2019-nCoV is not the same as the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, genetic analyses suggest this virus emerged from a virus related to SARS. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Q: How long can the virus survive on surfaces?

A: Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

Q: What is the normal course of the illness?

A: The infection is different for everyone, ranging from mild illness to severe respiratory illness. A majority of individuals with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and should monitor them and contact their healthcare provider if symptoms worsen, especially wheezing or shortness of breath. Individuals who do not need to be hospitalized can self-isolate at home. Those who need medical care should call ahead to alert their healthcare provider so that proper infection control measures can be taken.

Prevention from CoronaVirus (Covid-19)

Q: How can I help protect myself?

A: The best way to protect yourself is to heed the current guidance about social distancing and take the same steps used to prevent other respiratory infections, including the flu:
 
Cleaning 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.
 
Avoiding close contact
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick
– Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
 
Cleaning and disinfecting
– 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.
– Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Q: I want to know who is currently sick with COVID-19, and where these individuals are located, so that I can protect myself and my loved ones.

A: The ISDH provides a map that shows counties with positive cases of COVID-19. This map is updated daily at 10 a.m. and can be found at coronavirus.IN.gov. ISDH cannot release information about specific patients due to privacy laws.

What cleaning agents should be used?

A: Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Q: I believe that my food been exposed to COVID-19. Does it need to be thrown out?

A: Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.