In general, COVID-19 creates flu-like symptoms, which include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. It spreads by close contact with those who are ill (generally from sneezing or coughing), and symptoms may appear 2-14 days post-exposure. There is no vaccine yet for COVID-19.
Some groups are particularly at risk for COVID-19:
- Those 60 and older.
- Individuals with underlying health conditions such as heart issues, lung issues (asthma, COPD, etc.), and diabetes.
- Those who are immune-suppressed (including those who are taking medication which lower’s one’s immune system).
Special care should be taken with these populations whether or not the general community risk is high because the consequences can be very serious if such a person contracts the illness. More information can be found on the World Health Organization’s website.
General Prevention Measures
- Wash hands with soap or sanitizer for 20 seconds (moisturize your hands after washing them to prevent cracks in skin which can admit the virus—but do not use a communal lotion bottle, as it can become colonized with bacteria and viruses).
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Sanitize and clean surfaces at home and at work frequently.
- If you cough or sneeze do so in your elbow or in a tissue and immediately throw the tissue away. Wash your hands immediately after coughing or sneezing.
- If you are ill, stay home.
Caregivers and children may have worries about catching COVID-19. Some helpful resources to explain the virus and preventive measures include:
- NPR’s Kid’s Comic Exploring the Coronavirus
Directions to fold the printed document into a magazine for children here.
- [ENGLISH] Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019
- [SPANISH] Guía de ayuda para padres y cuidadores para ayudar a las familias a enfrentar la enfermedad Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- [CHINESE] Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 / 家長/照顧者協助家庭因應新冠病毒/武漢肺炎疫情(COVID-19)指南
CDC Guidance For Law Enforcement Personnel
The Centers for Disease Control have offered a tip sheet for law enforcement personnel on safely performing their duties during the epidemic.
Child Welfare Considerations During COVID-19
This article from the Chronicle for Social Change considers many perspectives and includes input from different stakeholders in child welfare, including children themselves.
Guidance For Child Welfare Agencies
A message from Dr. Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of Children's Bureau, outlines guidance around caseworker visits, site reviews, program improvement plans, investigations, and other legislative and regulatory issues in this situation.