covid-19

 

 

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Hotline
The New York State Department of Health has set up a hotline at (888) 364-3065 where Department of Health experts will be available to answer questions regarding COVID-19.

Am I likely to become infected with COVID-19?
While there are cases of COVID-19 in New York State, including Westchester County, you can reduce your risk of becoming infected by taking proper prevention measures similar to what is recommended to avoid the common cold and flu. These include washing your hands often, not touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and practicing social distancing to avoid close contact with sick people. Certain people are more at risk of getting COVID-19. These include:

  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and information is changing quickly.

How many cases of COVID-19 are there?
On March 11, 2020 WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The number of cases changes on daily basis. The most up-to-date information about the number of COVID-19 cases reported and where these cases are can be found at: John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center; The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and The World Health Organization. For a current COVID-19 case count in NYS, visit NYSDOH COVID-19 Information.

What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause either mild illness, such as a cold, or can make people sick with pneumonia.

What is a novel coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. A novel (new) coronavirus called COVID-19 has been detected in over a hundred thousand people worldwide. Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., including NY State and Westchester County, and it is expected that more cases of COVID-19 will be identified in the future. For the most recent case information, visit CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary.

How is COVID-19 spread?
Many of the initial patients with COVID-19 in China had links to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, cases being reported at this time have been occurring through person-to-person spread. The virus is thought to spread mainly:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through 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.

When are people most contagious?
People with COVID-19 are believed to be most contagious when they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Some early research shows that individuals with mild COVID-19 might be contagious even before they have symptoms, but it is not clear how common this is.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. While most people with COVID-19 are likely to experience mild to moderate disease with full recovery, in more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Older adults and those living with serious chronic medicals condition are most at risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19 infection.

Who is at highest risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
According to limited research, older adults, people who have chronic medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, diabetes and lung disease), and people who are immunosuppressed are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
 
Can children get COVID-19?
According to CDC, children can develop COVID-19 but they tend to have much milder symptoms than older adults. It is not yet known for certain whether or not children with underlying health conditions who develop COVID-19 are at risk for having more severe illness (CDC COVID-19 and Children).
 
Are pregnant women more at risk for COVID-19?
Currently, there is not much research on the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women are more susceptible to viral infections because of immunologic and physiologic changes and may be more susceptible to COVID-19 too. Access this link for more information: CDC COVID-19 Pregnant Women Guidance.
 
Breastfeeding mothers and COVID-19
It is not currently known if COVID-19 is t ransmitted from breastfeeding mothers to theirchildren. See CDC COVID-19 Interim Guidance for Breastfeeding Women for more information.

What should I do if I (or someone I know) traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading?
Anyone who has traveled to a CDC Level 3 destination (one that is experiencing widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19) should self-quarantine at home for 14 days following their return. For the most recent travel alerts, visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel webpage. You should monitor your symptoms and call your health care provider if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing. If you need to go to your doctor’s office or an emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. The same precautions should be taken if you have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19. You should also avoid contact with others.

How can I be tested for COVID-19?
Contact your health care provider to find out if they offer testing or call the NY State COVID-19 Hotline at 888-364-3065 to make an appointment at the drive-through COVID-19 testing center at Glen Island in New Rochelle. You can also use the New York State Online Screening Tool to share your symptoms and pre-register for testing.

How can I get my COVID-19 test results?
If you were tested at the mobile site at Glen Island in New Rochelle, you will be notified by the New York State Department of Health. You may also access your results directly.

If you had testing performed through another laboratory or private health care provider, check to see if they have a patient portal or phone line where you can obtain your results. Regardless of testing site, if your test result is positive (detected or presumptive positive), the Westchester County Department of Health will be contacting you.  

Is there a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. There is also no specific treatment for COVID-19 disease at this time. However, most people will recover on their own after resting and drinking plenty of fluids. To relieve symptoms, people with the virus can take pain and fever medication, use a room humidifier or take hot showers to help ease a sore throat and cough.

What can I do to protect myself?
You should take the same precautions that you would during cold and flu season:

If I can't find disinfecting products at the store, can I make my own?
A soultion of bleach and water will be effective against COVID-19. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Be aware that there are dangers associated with mixing certain cleaners. The following are deadly combinations and should never be mixed together:

  • Bleach + vinegar = chlorine gas. This can lead to coughing, breathing problems, burning and watery eyes. 
  • Bleach + ammonia = chloramine. This can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • Bleach + rubbing alcohol = chloroform. This is highly toxic.
  • Hydrogen peroxide + vinegar = peracetic/peroxyacetic acid. This can be highly corrosive.
 
What is community mitigation?
Community mitigation (or non-pharmaceutical interventions) are actions that individuals and communities can take to slow the spread of COVID-19, when there are no pharmaceutical preventive or treatment options. Community mitigation is critically important for protecting individuals most vulnerable to COVID-19 and reducing strain on the health care system. These social disyancing actions include:
  • Not shaking hands, hugging or kissing when greeting people
  • Limiting visitors
  • Maintaining at a least six feet apart from others
  • Avoiding mass gatherings
  • Working at home
  • Closing schools and providing remote learning instruction to students
  • For additional information see CDC Community Mitigation Strategies

Will wearing a surgical mask protect me from COVID-19?
Surgical masks do not protect the person wearing the mask from infection with COVID-19. Surgical masks should only be worn by people showing symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others. In addition, N95 respirator masks are not recommended for the general public and should only be worn by health care workers who have been properly fitted for them.

Should I be concerned about pets or other animals and COVID-19?
While this virus seems to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. While CDC recommends that people traveling to affected countries avoid animals both live and dead, there is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection with COVID-19. More information is available here: CDC COVID-19 and Animals Guidance.

Should I travel during the COVID-19 outbreak?
If you are planning to travel, visit CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel for the latest travel advisories related to COVID-19. 

Hotline Phone Numbers

  • People under self-quarantine or exposure to known case, call (866) 588-0195
  • NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline (888) 364-3065
  • Westchester County COVID-19 Information Call 211

Quarantine and Isolation Protocols 

Fact Sheets 

Information for Schools

Additional Resources