Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
What is the coronavirus disease 2019?
- Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 (previously known as 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV), is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
- It is part of a larger family of viruses called coronavirus, some of which are in circulation normally and can cause illnesses like the common cold. See the “About the Virus” section of this FAQ for more about this family of viruses.
- You can learn more about coronavirus disease 2019 at the CDC website.
Has anyone in the United States been infected?
- Yes. Monitoring and testing are ongoing across the United States. A current case count table is available on the CDC website.
- On January 26, 2020, Maricopa County announced its first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV.
- The patient is a member of the Arizona State University community who does not live in university housing. There has been no classroom exposure associated with the case.
- The person had very mild illness and was released from isolation in February 2020 after multiple negative tests from CDC. There is no risk of COVID-19 to the community from this individual.
- This is a rapidly evolving situation.
Am I at risk for COVID-19 infection in the United States?
- Currently, risk to the public in Maricopa County is extremely low.
- This is a rapidly-evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily.
- Please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date national information.
Should I be tested for COVID-19?
- If you develop a fever 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 provider and mention your recent travel. Public health will work with your healthcare provider to get you tested if recommended.
- Individuals who are being monitored by public health will be given specific recommendations to seek care for testing for COVID-19, if needed.
How can I protect myself?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- 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.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.
What if I recently traveled to Wuhan City and/or Hubei Province and/or China and got sick?
- If you were in China and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days after you left China, you should contact a healthcare provider.
- Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a mask BEFORE you enter the healthcare facility for medical evaluation.
- Avoid contact with others while sick.
- Do not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Still have questions? We have more answers. Read the full FAQ in this PDF Opens in New Window .
Some people of Chinese and Asian decent are facing stigma in their communities, regardless of whether they been exposed to COVID-19. Stigma involves stereotyping and discriminating against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. It’s understandable to be alarmed by 2019 Novel Coronavirus. But no amount of fear can excuse prejudice and discrimination against people of Asian descent or who appear to be of Asian descent.
FACT: 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.
What You Can Do
What Schools Can Do
People from China in the United States may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in the region. Facing stigma can make fear and anxiety worsen. Social support during this outbreak can help them cope.
Guidance for Healthcare Providers:
COVID-19 Update as of February 27, 2020
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak beginning in China in December 2019 has continued to expand. Sustained community transmission has been confirmed in 5 countries (China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan). As of February 27, 2020, there are 60 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 (15 persons detected and tested in the U.S. and 45 persons repatriated to the U.S.) in the United States.
On February 26, 2020, California announced the first case of COVID-19 without travel or contact to a known case in the United States. It has yet to be confirmed if this represents community transmission.
Maricopa County had one laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case with very mild illness diagnosed in late January. That person has fully recovered and been released from isolation. Close contacts of the case were monitored and tested for COVID-19 multiple times; none of them developed COVID-19.
Given the rapidly changing situation, CDC has updated their recommendations for COVID-19 testing.
Suspected Persons Under Investigation (PUI) COVID-19 Guidance for Healthcare Providers
- Healthcare providers should obtain a detailed travel history for all patients being evaluated with fever and/or acute respiratory illness, including all national and international travel, for the 14 days prior to symptom onset;
- Patients who meet 1 set of the following 3 sets of criteria should be evaluated for COVID-19 through specimen collection and PCR testing in collaboration with Maricopa County Department of Public Health:
- Fever1 OR signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) not requiring hospitalization AND close contact2 with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset;
- Fever1 AND signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization AND a history of travel from affected geographic areas3 within 14 days of symptom onset;
- Fever1 AND severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS) requiring ICU hospitalization, imaging confirmation of pulmonary infiltrates, and without alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., flu) AND no source of exposure has been identified.
1Fever may be subjective or confirmed.
2Close contact is defined at the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html#foot3
3Defined as areas where sustained community transmission has been identified (e.g., countries with CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice) which can change rapidly and can be found at the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/
For all patients who meet COVID-19 PUI criteria:
- Healthcare personnel entering the room should use airborne precautions, plus standard precautions, contact precautions, and eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield)*,†;
- Immediately notify your healthcare facility’s infection control personnel;
- Immediately notify Maricopa County Department of Public Health:
- Monday–Friday 8AM–5PM — call (602) 506-6767 and ask for a Surveillance Nurse or;
- After 5PM and on weekends — call (602) 747-7111 and ask for the Provider On-Call.
- Collect specimens for testing for COVID-19, which include:
- Lower respiratory specimen (e.g., sputum, BAL, tracheal aspirate);
- Upper respiratory specimen (e.g., nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal [NP/OP] swab)
*For facilities that do not have an AIIR, testing should be performed by a healthcare provider using an N95 respirator, gown, gloves, and eye protection (e.g., goggles or face shield that covers the front/sides of the face) in a private room with the door closed. Avoid use of that room for additional patients until the room has been cleaned.
†Alternate Standards of Care recommendations in resource-limited situations are forthcoming from MCDPH.
For Further Guidance
- MCDPH, ADHS, and CDC websites
- MCDPH FAQ (below)
- Information for Healthcare Professionals:
- CDC website
- MCDPH guidance for evaluation of a patient with suspected COVID-19 infection (below)
- Management of Patients with Confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infection:
- Infection control:
- Guidance from Arizona Department of Health (below)
- CDC website
- Attached example visual alert for posting at the entrance and strategic places in English and Spanish (see below)
- Early epidemiology of cohort with COVID-19 in China:
More of what healthcare providers need to know:
- Healthcare Provider Guidance (as of 02.27.2020) (PDF)
- ADHS Infection Control Guidance (as of 01.29.2020) (PDF)
- Facility door sign to mask if showing symptoms (English) (PDF)
- Facility door sign to mask if showing symptoms (Spanish) (PDF)
- COVID-19 FAQ (English) (PDF)
- COVID-19 FAQ (Spanish) (PDF)
- COVID-19 FAQ (Mandarin) (PDF)
* Recommendations are subject to change as the situation evolves.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- FAQs in English Opens in New Window (PDF)
- FAQs in Spanish Opens in New Window (PDF)
- FAQs in Mandarin Opens in New Window (PDF)
2019 Novel Coronavirus vs. Other Coronaviruses
- Comparison chart in English and Spanish Opens in New Window (PDF)
- Comparison chart in English Opens in New Window (PNG)
- Comparison chart in Spanish Opens in New Window (PNG)
Signage for Facilities
- Sign for front doors to ask people with respiratory illness symptoms to stop and mask (English) Opens in New Window (PDF)
- Sign for front doors to ask people with respiratory illness symptoms to stop and mask (Spanish) Opens in New Window (PDF)
Parent letters for schools
- Letter as of 1/30/2020 for schools to share with parents (English) Opens in New Window (Word)
- Letter as of 1/30/2020 for schools to share with parents (Spanish) Opens in New Window (Word)