COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2).
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.
Early on, many of the patients at the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. Later, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread. Person-to-person spread was subsequently reported outside Hubei and in countries outside China, including in the United States. Most international destinations now have ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19, as does the United States. Community spread means some people have been infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed. Learn more about the spread of this coronavirus that is causing COVID-19.
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All the information you need.
Situation in the U.S.
Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is in the acceleration phase of the pandemic. The duration and severity of each pandemic phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
CDC and state and local public health laboratories are testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. View CDC’s Public Health Laboratory Testing map.
All 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19 to CDC.
U.S. COVID-19 cases include:
Imported cases in travelers
Cases among close contacts of a known case
Community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown.
All U.S. states are reporting some community spread of COVID-19.
Risk depends on characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people; the severity of resulting illness; and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccines or medications that can treat the illness) and the relative success of these. In the absence of vaccine or treatment medications, nonpharmaceutical interventions become the most important response strategy. These are community interventions that can reduce the impact of disease.
The risk from COVID-19 to Americans can be broken down into risk of exposure versus risk of serious illness and death.
Risk of exposure:
Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in all states.
People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of risk dependent on the location.
Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with level of risk dependent on where they traveled.
Risk of Severe Illness:
Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know now, those at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:
People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential community-related exposures to COVID-19.
Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
CDC is recommending the use of a cloth face covering to keep people who are infected but do not have symptoms from spreading COVID-19 to others.
The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Medical face masks are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by CDC.
The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
CDC continues to recommend that people try keep about 6 feet between themselves and others.
The White House “Slow the Spread” guidelinespdf iconexternal icon are in place until April 30. These are part of a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 through the implementation of social distancing at all levels of society.
If you are a healthcare provider, use your judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. CDC’s Criteria to Guide Evaluation and Laboratory Testing for COVID-19 provides priorities for testing patients with suspected COVID-19 infection.
People who get a fever or cough should consider whether they might have COVID-19, depending on where they live, their travel history or other exposures. All of the U.S. is seeing some level of community spread of COVID-19. Testing for COVID-19 may be accessed through medical providers or public health departments, but there is no treatment for this virus. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care.
American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in one of the countries with travel restrictions for entering the U.S. in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States but will be redirected to one of 13 airports. If you are returning from one of these countries, you should stay home and monitor your health. All other international travelers please follow CDC instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow spread of this virus.
Prevent Getting Sick
You can take steps to protect yourself and others during a COVID-19 outbreak.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
Cloth face coverings should—
fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
be secured with ties or ear loops
include multiple layers of fabric
allow for breathing without restriction
be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
How to Clean & Disinfect
Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.
Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
High touch surfaces include:
Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectantexternal icon.
Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
Many products recommend:
Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.
Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection, and ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening may not be suitable for disinfection.
More details: Complete Disinfection Guidance
For clothing, towels, linens and other items
Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.
Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
Do not shake dirty laundry.
Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.
Clean hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick.
Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Additional key times to clean hands include:
After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
After using the restroom
Before eating or preparing food
After contact with animals or pets
Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
WHEN SOMEONE IS SICK
Bedroom and Bathroom
Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for a person who is sick (if possible)
The person who is sick should stay separated from other people in the home (as much as possible).
If you have a separate bedroom and bathroom: Only clean the area around the person who is sick when needed, such as when the area is soiled. This will help limit your contact with the person who is sick.
Caregivers can provide personal cleaning supplies to the person who is sick (if appropriate). Supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and EPA-registered disinfectantsexternal icon. If they feel up to it, the person who is sick can clean their own space.
If shared bathroom: The person who is sick should clean and disinfect after each use. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.
See precautions for household members and caregivers for more information.
Stay separated: The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room if possible.
Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water: Handle any used dishes, cups/glasses, or silverware with gloves. Wash them with soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.
Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.
Dedicated, lined trash can: If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the person who is sick. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:
Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
Do not gather in groups
Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread locally and across the country and world.
When COVID-19 is spreading in your area, everyone should limit close contact with individuals outside your household in indoor and outdoor spaces. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
What if You've Been Exposed
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, read about symptoms.
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
Practice social distancing. Maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and stay out of crowded places.
Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
If you feel healthy but:
Recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19, or
Recently traveled from somewhere outside the U.S. or on a cruise ship or river boat.
Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms.
Stay home for 14 days and self-monitor.
If possible, stay away from people who are high-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
Have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or
Are waiting for test results, or
Have symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath
Stay in a specific “sick room” or area and away from other people or animals, including pets. If possible, use a separate bathroom.
Read important information about caring for yourself or someone else who is sick.
NY STATE Novel Coronavirus Hotline, 24/7, at 1-888-364-3065
NEW YORK CITY info: Text the word, “COVID” to 692-692 for updates
Call: 888-NYC-WELL, Text “WELL” to 65173
CORONAVIRUS TESTING HOTLINES
NYC Health + Hospitals, 24/7, a doctor will screen and refer as needed. Tel: 844-692-4692
New York State. Tel: 888-364-3065; Northwell Heath. Tel: 833-487-2273
Grocery Delivery Services
This is a partial list from NAUW Health Committee.
You have to go online to order and pay, or have someone do it for you – they can request delivery to your home. You can purchase all items that are found in a grocery store, including fresh fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, canned goods, personal care, housekeeping, etc. You then select a delivery time which is convenient, 7 days/week, usually at least 7 am – 7 pm.
▪ PEAPOD (Stop & Shop). Tel: 800-573-2763, or
▪ FRESH DIRECT. Tel: 866-283-7374, or
▪ AMAZON FRESH. Tel: 866-216-1072, or , select “Fresh”
NY State, NYC Resources
1. Equity: Provides online emergency support to students during COVID-19. Offers referrals available in your community related to health, food, housing, transportation, and childcare.
2. NYC Human Resources Administration: Apply for Medicaid, cash assistance, SNAP, and child care assistance at these HRA sites that also assist individuals in securing jobs.
3. New York State Unemployment Ins. https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance
FOOD BANK & STUDENT MEALS
1. Food Bank NYC. Operates food pantries and soup kitchens and directs you to SNAP enrollment sites. .
2. Meals for public school students. As of March 15th, there are grab-and-go meals for students at every New York City Public School. The meals will be available at the schools’ start time.
Visit for most up to date information.
MEDICAL RESOURCES (including for uninsured or underinsured)
1. New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline or call 1-888-364-3065.
2. NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) COVID-19 Updates. To receive regular updates on the latest developments regarding coronavirus in New York City, text COVID to 692-692. For updates in Spanish, text COVIDESP to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news.
3. NYC Health + Hospitals: Call for an appointment 1-844-NYC-4NYC. NYCH+H is a network of PUBLIC hospitals and health centers in New York City that provide care, despite insurance or immigration status, and assists in getting patients connected to insurance.
4. Veteran’s Health Administration. 1-844-698-2311
MENTAL WELLNESS RESOURCES
1. NYC Health Guidelines on coping with stress during infectious disease outbreaks.https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/coping-with-stress-disease-outbreak.pdf
2. SAMSHA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services) Hotline 1-800-662-HELP (4357) https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
3. National Eating Disorders Association Helpline 1-800-931-2237
4. NYC Human Rights or call 311 and say “Human Rights” https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/about/contact-us.page
5. NYC Well or call 1-888-NYC-WELL https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/
6. Free Coloring Posters for Stress Management https://www.rlmartstudio.com/product/coloring-pages-5-popular-posters-free-pdf-downloads/
INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE SUPPORT
1. Safe Horizon: Provides support for survivors of intimate partner violence through a 24-hour hotline 800-621-HOPE (4673), and comprehensive family justice centers in each borough. Please call 911 for emergencies.
2. National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 or Text LOVEIS to 22522.
3. Emergency Housing Lists shelters for women, men, and families by city and state. Please see website for most up to date information.
1. For those with school-aged children that need home learning and entertainment activities:
a. The Spanish Experiment: Spanish Children’s Stories https://www.thespanishexperiment.com/stories?fbclid=IwAR0YdDWyRRlIQ9mZJtFZC0ZxG20b5eIDWnsnEOSTYayk3haO_6Y4a7PxQcc#.XCedvqR2dF4.facebook
b. Scholastic free daily classes for pre-k to 6+
c. Educating Children on Coronavirus through Comic books (in multiple languages) https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/07/811616161/kids-around-the-world-are-reading-nprs-coronavirus-comic
2. National Association of School Psychologists guidance on talking to children about COVID-19 https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/helping-children-cope-with-changes-resulting-from-covid-19
3. Internet providers providing free Wi-Fi during COVID-19 responsehttps://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-internet-providers-free-wifi-20200315-6k7pzukriffdfcic5odfizmnri-story.html
4. NYC Children Resources are available to provide support to overwhelmed parents. Call 311 and ask for parenting support. The Administration for Children and Family Services can be found at this website as well. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/acs/index.page
Included here is a link for a summer internship program. Students will receive a stipend at the end of the six weeks. The program is for students ages 14-24, and they are focusing on students who reside in the seven Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, East New York, Harlem, Jamaica, North Staten Island, and the South Bronx (application by lottery),
The deadline is June 15th. I encourage you to have your girls apply now. The stipend is $1,200.
More information can be found here: www1.nyc.gov/site/neon/programs/neon-summer.page
There is a commitment to a minimum number of hours of work to receive the stipend.
Anyone interested can apply. This is NOT just for girls.
Resources for Parents to Support and Educate Kids
Racism and Violence: How to Help Kids Handle the News
Support for difficult conversations
Clinical Perspective on Talking to Kids About Racism
Advice from Clinicians at the Child Mind Institute
Raising Race Conscious Children: A Resource for Talking about Race with Young Children
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
(although mainly directed to teachers, parents may also find it useful)
Teaching Tolerance Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide www.tolerace.org
How do I make sure I’m not raising the next Amy Cooper by Jennifer Harvey for CNN
Sesame Street: Coming Together - Standing Up to Racism
The Conscious Kid: Parenting and Education Resources through a Critical Race Lens (You have to join for as little as $1 on Patreon)
This site has great resources such as:
-41 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance
-The Importance of Teaching Kids About Structural Racism
-White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
BOOKS FOR KIDS
RESOURCES FOR ADULTS
Here’s Where You Can Donate To Help Protests Against Police Brutality
DONATE TO BLACK LIVES MATTER
Protestors need food, water and medical supplies to treat possible injuries
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
The Obama Foundation: Anguish and Action
11 Anti-Racist Accounts That are Worth Following