COVID-19 FAQs

What is the Novel CoronaVirus?

The novel Coronavirus is a new strain of Coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the Coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. 

Why is it called COVID-19? 

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for the disease that has caused the novel Coronavirus outbreak. The new name of the disease is Coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ’CO’ stands for ’corona’, ’VI’ for ’virus’ and ’D’ for ’disease’. 

Where did COVID-19 originate?

The first cases of COVID-19 were identified in Wuhan Province in China. 

When was COVID-19 first discovered?

China reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization (WHO) December 31, 2019. 

Who is at the highest risk for contracting COVID-19?

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes: 

  • Adults age 65 and older.
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems 
  • Individuals undergoing cancer treatments
  • individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions such as:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
    • Severe obesity

WHAT DOES "SHELTER IN PLACE" MEAN?

Traditionally when you hear the term "Shelter in Place" it is being used by local Emergency Personnel during or after an emergency and people are being asked to stay in their home for their safety. However during the Covid-19 incident "Shelter in Place" mandate ordered by the Governor is slightly different because we are being asked to shelter in place and only leave our homes for essential needs and business.  

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE?

Per the US Department of Health and Human Services isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.  Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.

Additional CDC information on Isolation and Quarantine

Can I TRAVEL?

California Department of Public Health FAQ on Travel

WHAT IS ESSENTIAL AND NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS?

Essential business includes state and local services, law enforcement, banks, grocery stores, laundromats, pharmacies, and other types of businesses that are essential to the public. 

Non-Essential Business include hair salons, consignment stores, nail salons, bars and night clubs, dine in restaurants and other recreational activity related businesses.  

What is OPen in My County?

California has a Blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities.  Check out the Blueprint for a Safer Economy website for information on the current Tier level, and what businesses are open and what limitations are in place.

WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.  To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.  Learn more at the CDC website about Social Distancing.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRAVELED TO OTHER COUNTRIES?

Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID-19 travel website

SHOULD I TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES?

 There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel. Learn what they are HERE.

What is a MHOAC? and what do they do during an emergency?

Learn more about Medical Health Operations Area Coordination and what they do in Mariposa County HERE.