There has been a lot of information in the media recently regarding the Novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 and as such, there lies fear and uncertainty about what to do. The situation in the U.S. and more importantly in Santa Clara County is and will continue to evolve as new information is learned. Your best source for up-to-date information about the virus itself and the precautionary measures being implemented is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Santa Clara County Public Health (SCCPH). The CDC provides an overall picture nationwide, while the SCCPH provides local information. The CDC updates their website each day at noon, Monday through Friday, and SCCPH updates the site when warranted.

Those who are identified as in the higher risk category should take extra precautions. Individuals with a higher risk include those over 50, and regardless of age, individuals with underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Universal precautions should be followed to prevent further spreading of the virus.

You and your loved ones should:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your 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. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid non-essential travel, especially on planes and cruises.
  • Avoid crowds or large gatherings, especially in poorly ventilated areas.

If you become ill, contact your doctor first before going in and let them know your symptoms; they will let you know how to proceed.

To learn more about how you can help prevent the spread of the virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Santa Clara County Public Health websites.