Information on Coronavirus (Covid-19)
What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV/Covid-19)?
2019-nCoV (Covid-19) is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:
- It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
- Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.
The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance.
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Person-to-person spread is occurring, and a person may be infectious, but not symptomatic, for up to 14 days. While the elderly and patients with significant underlying health issues are deemed most at risk the disease and higher mortality rates, there is emerging information that younger adults are also becoming seriously ill.
Everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- 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.
- Minimize all travel. Avoid all public transportation.
- 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.
- Practice social distancing – leave at least 6 feet between you and others at all times
If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Call ahead for pre-screening before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room,
- Avoid contact with others. Please also coordinate with your supervisor and consider using sick leave to avoid contact with co-workers.
- Do not travel or use public transportation while sick.
Northern is closely following developments in the spread of the virus, including in NM. Please continue to monitor updates to our community here on Northern's Website, including the helpful links to health information in the boxes on the right of this page. Answers to frequently asked questions regarding Northern's covid-19 Response Plan can be found here on our website.
Donald B. Appiarius, EdD