|We have created this COVID-19 resources page with links to useful information about the coronavirus. This resource will be updated as more information becomes available from our state and federal agency partners, like the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC).|
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 (formerly referred to as the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December of 2019.
How is the COVID-19 Spread?
It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on people who are nearby (within 6 feet). It may also be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
What are the symptoms and possible complications
Symptoms of COVID-19 may be similar to the flu. Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe complications from this virus.
When will symptoms appear?
Symptoms may appear between two and 14 days. People are mostly infectious when they present (flu-like) symptoms and are coughing, sneezing and producing droplets.
How is COVID-19 treated?
Treatment is supportive care and relief of symptoms There is currently no vaccine to protect people from this novel coronavirus. There is also no specific anti-viral treatment.
How can I help protect myself?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. BPHC recommends standard precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, like those that cause the flu or a cold:
Should I wear a mask to prevent COVID-19?
The CDC does not recommend that healthy individuals wear a facemask. There is no evidence that using a mask will provide any benefit to people who are not sick.
A facemask should be worn by anyone with suspected or confirmed respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses because it will help protect others from getting infected. A facemask should also be worn by health care workers and people who are taking care of someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Did you recently travel?
If you traveled to a geographic area with widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:
Visit the CDC’s website for the latest information for travelers, including the affected geographic areas with widespread or sustained community transmission of COVID-19.
Do I need to be tested for COVID-19?
Only those who are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have recently traveled to China or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should be tested. As of February 28, 2020, the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory received approval tobegin testing patients for COVID-19, in accordance with guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What can travelers do to protect themselves and others?
Treatment is supportive care and relief of symptoms. There is currently no vaccine to protect people from COVID-19. There is also no specific anti-viral treatment.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory recommending Americans not to travel to areas with widespread transmission of COVID-19.
Visit the CDC’s website to see which countries are on this list.
If you must travel: