Information on the Coronavirus

I am closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and working to provide assistance to Oregonians who will be affected by this global pandemic.
 
At the recommendation of public health professionals in both Oregon and Congress,  my offices in Portland and Washington D.C. will be teleworking.
 
 If you  are in need of assistance with federal agencies please contact my office via phone or my website and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.  

Situation in Oregon

***In Oregon, call 211 for general information on the coronavirus from the Oregon Health Authority***

Oregon Health Authority Information Page

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Oregon & SW Washington

Constituents can sign up for Coronavirus news email updates on Oregon Health Authority website here.

COVID-19 Information in Different Languages: https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-information-different-languages

Oregon Test Results as of 3/23/2020, 8:00 a.m. Updated daily.
Positive 191
Negative 3,649
Total Completed Tests (cumulative since January 24, 2020) 3,840

 

County Number of cases Deaths Negative test results
Baker 0 0 2
Benton 4 0 121
Clackamas 14 0 431
Clatsop 0 0 43
Columbia 0 0 49
Coos 0 0 44
Crook 0 0 5
Curry 0 0 12
Deschutes 10 0 91
Douglas 1 0 48
Gilliam 0 0 1
Grant 1 0 0
Harney 0 0 1
Hood River 1 0 38
Jackson 2 0 207
Jefferson 0 0 6
Josephine 1 0 29
Klamath 1 0 45
Lake 0 0 0
Lane 4 1 171
Lincoln 0 0 18
Linn 20 1 315
Malheur 0 0 13
Marion 30 1 295
Morrow 0 0 4
Multnomah 21 1 796
Polk 3 0 71
Sherman 0 0 1
Tillamook 0 0 9
Umatilla 2 0 34
Union 1 0 14
Wallowa 0 0 3
Wasco 0 0 19
Washington 69 1 612
Wheeler 0 0 1
Yamhill 6 0 100
Total 191 5 3,649
Age group Number of cases
17 or younger 4
18 to 24 5
25 to 34 15
35 to 54 64
55 + 103
Total 191
Hospitalized* Number of cases
Yes 56
No 106
Not provided 29
Total 191

OHA updates this data daily. Updates include:

  • Cases from the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory​.
  • Cases from commercial and out-of-state laboratories.
  • Cases, deaths and negative test results by county.
  • Cases by age group.
  • * Hospitalization (ever hospitalized) if available.

Notes:

  1. Because community transmission is occurring in Oregon and recommendations on social distancing are in place, as of March 17, 2020, we no longer report daily counts of persons under monitoring.
  2. Confirmation by CDC of laboratory results from the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory is no longer required; therefore as of March 15, 2020, we no longer note the number of CDC-confirmed cases.
  3. Reporting of travel history is not available for cases reported to OHA by commercial laboratories; therefore as of March 15, 2020, we no longer include information about travel history.
  4. As of March 22, 2020, we no longer include the number of pending test results. Those numbers are only available from the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL). The OSPHL serves as the first source of testing during an outbreak and as commercial labs come online, OSPHL increases focus on priority testing. Commercial labs have the ability to conduct testing on an industrial scale, but do not report pending results, so this number would not accurately reflect the number of pending results.

Useful Resources for Constituents on Coronavirus

 

CDC FACT SHEETS:
CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What You Need to Know (English)
CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What You Need to Know (Spanish)
NEW:  CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What You Need to Know (Chinese)
CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What To Do If You Are Sick (English)
CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What To Do If You Are Sick (Spanish)
NEW:  CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What To Do If You Are Sick (Chinese)
CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  What the Public Should Do (English)
CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  Stop the Spread of Germs (English)
CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  Stop the Spread of Germs (Spanish)
NEW:  CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Fact Sheet:  Stop the Spread of Germs (Chinese)
 

ADDITIONAL CDC INFORMATION:

 

CORONAVIRUS: CDC Guidance on Prevention and Treatment
 

Prevention

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. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
 

  • 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.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • 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.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Infographics on the CDC’s coronavirus prevention guidance are available here.
     

Treatment

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
 

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.


See Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals for information on persons under investigation.

 

CORONAVIRUS: CDC Guidance on How It Spreads

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.

Person-to-person spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

 

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

 

When does spread happen?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

 

How efficiently does the virus spread?

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. Another factor is whether the spread continues over multiple generations of people (if spread is sustained). The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in Hubei province and other parts of China. In the United States, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts and has not spread any further to date.

There is still more to be learned

COVID-19 is an emerging disease and there is more to learn about its transmissibility, severity, and other features and what will happen in the United States. New information will further inform the risk assessment.

 

CORONAVIRUS: CDC Guidance on Symptoms

For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

 

CORONAVIRUS:  CDC Guidance for Businesses/Employers
Recommended Strategies for Employers to Use Now

 

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:
  • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
     
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.

 

  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.

 

  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.

 

  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.

 

  • Separate sick employees:
    • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).

 

 

  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.

 

  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

 

  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.

 

 

  • Perform routine environmental cleaning:
    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

 

  • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.

 

  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

 

  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
    • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.

 

  • Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

 

  • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.

 

  • If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.

 

  • Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
    • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

 

  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

 

Travel Warnings 

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. The State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory warning people to avoid traveling to China due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan. Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of travel restrictions with little or no advance notice. Most commercial air carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.

If you are still planning travel to China, I encourage you to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive important messages, alerts, updates, and travel advisories while you are there.  

On arrival to the United States, travelers from China will undergo a health screening. Travelers with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will have an additional health assessment. Travelers who have been in China during the past 14 days, including U.S. citizens or residents and others who are allowed to enter the United States, will be required to enter through specific airports and participate in monitoring by health officials until 14 days after they left China. Some people may have their movement restricted or be asked to limit their contact with others until the 14-day period has ended.

 

CORONAVIRUS: CDC Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Disease Basics

 

Q: What is a novel coronavirus? 

 

A: A novel coronavirus is a new 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.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

 

Q: Why is the disease causing the outbreak now being called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?

 

A: On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”

 

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.

 

Q: What is the name of the virus causing the outbreak of coronavirus disease starting in 2019?

 

A: On February 11, 2020, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, charged with naming new viruses, named the novel coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, shortened to SARS-CoV-2.

 

As the name indicates, the virus is related to the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, however it is not the same virus.

 

Q: What is the source of COVID-19?

 

A: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

 

Q: How does the virus causing Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), spread?

 

A: This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. Currently, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

 

Q: Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

 

A: The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.

 

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

 

Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements:

  • The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

 

Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.

 

Q: Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

 

A: Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

 

Q: Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?

 

APeople in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

 

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

 

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.

 

Q: How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?

 

A: People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.

 

Q: Is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 the same as the MERS-CoV or the SARS-CoV virus?

 

A: No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause cold-like illnesses in people. Others cause illness in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can spread to people. This happened with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. The virus that causes COVID-19 likely also originated in an animal and spread to humans. The coronavirus most similar to the virus causing COVID-19 is SARS-CoV. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. The situation is changing, and information will be updated as it becomes available.

Prevention

Q: How can I help protect myself?

 

A: Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.

 

Q: What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

 

A: There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.

 

Q: Does CDC recommend the use of facemask in the community to prevent COVID-19?

 

A: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

 

Medical Information

 

Q: What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

 

A: Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever1, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.

 

Q: Should I be tested for COVID-19?

 

A: If you develop a fever1 and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact. If you have had close contact2 with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area, you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

 

Q: How do you test a person for COVID-19?

 

A: At this time, diagnostic testing for COVID-19 can be conducted only at CDC.

 

State and local health departments who have identified a person under investigation (PUI) should immediately notify CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to report the PUI and determine whether testing for COVID-19 at CDC is indicated. The EOC will assist local/state health departments to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately to CDC, including during afterhours or on weekends/holidays.

 

For more information on specimen collection see CDC Information for Laboratories.

 

Q: Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

 

A: Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.

 

For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.

 

Q: What should healthcare professionals and health departments do?

 

A: For recommendations and guidance on persons under investigation; infection control, including personal protective equipment guidance; home care and isolation; and case investigation, see Information for Healthcare Professionals. For information on specimen collection and shipment, see Information for Laboratories. For information for public health professional on COVID-19, see Information for Public Health Professionals.

 

Public Health Response and Current Situation

 

Q: What is CDC doing about COVID-19?

 

A: This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. CDC works 24/7 to protect people’s health. More information about CDC’s response to COVID-19 is available online.

 

Q: Am I at risk for COVID-19 in the United States?

 

A: This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

 

Q: Has anyone in the United States gotten infected?

 

A: Yes. The first COVID-19 case in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The first confirmed instance of person-person-spread with this virus in the U.S. was reported on January 30, 2020. See the current U.S. case count of COVID-19.

 

Q: Am I at risk for COVID-19 from a package or products shipping from China?

 

A: There is still a lot that is unknown about the newly emerged COVID-19 and how it spreads. Two other coronaviruses have emerged previously to cause severe illness in people (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV). The virus that causes COVID-19 is more genetically related to SARS-CoV than MERS-CoV, but both are betacoronaviruses with their origins in bats. While we don’t know for sure that this virus will behave the same way as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, we can use the information gained from both of these earlier coronaviruses to guide us. In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. Information will be provided on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website as it becomes available.

 

Q: Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

 

A: It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months.  At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer.  There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

 

COVID-19 and Animals

 

Q: What risks do animals or animal products imported from China pose?

 

A: CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that animals or animal products imported from China pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) play distinct but complementary roles in regulating the importation of live animals and animal products into the United States. CDC regulates animals and animal products that pose a threat to human health, USDA regulatesexternal icon animals and animal products that pose a threat to agriculture; and FWS regulatesexternal icon importation of endangered species and wildlife that can harm the health and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture, or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources.

 

Q: Can I travel to the United States with pets during the COVID-19 outbreak?

 

A: Please refer to CDC’s requirements for bringing a dog to the United States. The current requirements for rabies vaccination apply to dogs imported from China, a high-risk country for rabies.

 

Q: Should I be concerned about pets or other animals and COVID-19?

 

A: While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person in China. There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can be infected with or spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information on the many benefits of pet ownership, as well as staying safe and healthy around animals including pets, livestock, and wildlife, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

 

Q: Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

 

A: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

 

Q: What precautions should be taken for animals that have recently been imported (for example, by shelters, rescue groups, or as personal pets) from China?

 

A: Animals imported from China will need to meet CDC and USDAexternal icon requirements for entering the United States. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can be infected with or spread COVID-19. As with any animal introduced to a new environment, animals recently imported from China should be observed daily for signs of illness. If an animal becomes ill, the animal should be examined by a veterinarian. Call your local veterinary clinic before bringing the animal into the clinic and let them know that the animal was recently in China.

 

Q: Should I avoid animals and animal markets while I am travelling?

 

A: In the United States, there is no reason to think that any animals, including pets or livestock, might be a source of COVID-19 infection at this time. If you are visiting a live animal market anywhere in the world, it is important to clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after visiting the market. Avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled products, as well as contaminated fluids and waste. Additional recommendations on basic protective measures are provided by WHO.

COVID-19 has brought a surge in reports of discrimination and violent attacks against Chinese-Americans and individuals of Asian descent in the United States. Asian-owned businesses have seen a dramatic decrease in customers, harming local economies.
 
I appreciate the work of my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) to dispel the stigma, misinformation, and conspiracy theories that are disparaging and negatively affecting the Asian American community in the United States and abroad.
 
According to the CDC, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a specific population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region has the disease and members of particular groups are at no greater risk for contracting it. 
 
Being Chinese or Asian American does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19. 
 
People—including those of Asian descent—who have not recently traveled to China or been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.
 
People who have returned from China more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms are not infected with the virus and contact with them will not give you the virus.
 
To report instances of hate crimes against constituents of Asian descent as a result of COVID-19, please visit https://www.aapihatecrimes.org.