What You Need to Know About Coronavirus

Posted by The Arc of North Carolina

You are probably hearing a lot about coronavirus from stories on the news or social media. There is a lot that doctors continue to learn about coronavirus, and it is important that you remain calm and get facts from trusted sources. We want to provide information and resources that you can use to stay informed and help protect yourself and family.

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a virus which means someone infected with coronavirus will most likely feel symptoms similar to the flu. It’s important to know that 80% of people who get the virus will feel better within a matter of days. Some people who get the virus will not feel sick at all. The people at risk of more severe complications from COVID-19 are those that are older or have other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or other lung problems.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
• If you are sick, stay at home. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. Have at least two ways of staying in touch with people: land-line phone, cell phone, text-messaging, or email.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes. Throw away any used tissues. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Wait until you feel better to go back to work or other public places.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Wipe down surfaces with cleaning products that kill germs.
• Make sure you have a plan in place in the event that your caregiver is sick. Create a contact list of local family, friends, and local service agencies that can help provide care for you if you or your caregiver gets sick.

Many people who are not sick are using face masks when they are out in public places. It’s important to know that a face mask will not protect you from getting COVID-19 if you are not sick. Purchasing masks when they are not needed means that healthcare workers may not have enough masks to protect themselves when working with sick patients.

On March 3, 2020, Governor Cooper and leadership from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced that a person living in Wake County tentatively tested positive for COVID-19. The person is staying at home until they are no longer sick and is working closely with health experts and the local health department. We’ve created two documents, one for the general population and one for caregivers, that will help you take precautions that can keep you healthy. If there are any updates, we will post them on our website.

It’s important to remain calm and not panic. Learn the facts!

Here are some resources you can use to learn more about COVID-19:
Video from CBS News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wELsVm1CwY 

Here is a handout on what you need to know about the Coronavirus that you can share. 

Here is a handout on what caregivers should know about the Coronavirus.