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CDC situation summary and recommendations

Updated March 30, 2020

CDC Situation Summary

CDC and state public health officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “COVID-19”) that was first detected in Wuhan, China. More than 700,000 infections have been reported worldwide and as of March 11, 2020 WHO characterized COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The CDC reports community spread in multiple states in the U.S., with more than 120,000 people infected nationwide. In California, there are more than 4,600 positive cases and a statewide stay home order has been issued. For more information about the illness severity and risk assessment, review the current CDC situation summary.

CDC Recommends

Everyone can do their part to "slow the spread". This means:

  • Work from home if you can
  • If you need to work in critical infrastructure, follow practices to protect your health
  • Use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for eating out
  • Avoid social gatherings and discretionary travel
  • Do not visit nursing homes or long-term care facilities

As this outbreak expands in communities, the risk of infection has increased. Good hygiene practices are actions everyone can take to protect yourself and your family.

  • Everyday preventive actions include:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • 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.
    • Practice social distancing if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. 

  • Older people and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. CDPH further recommends that individuals over 65 years of age, those who have serious chronic medical conditions, or those who have compromised immune systems stay at home and self-isolate.

  • CDC does not currently recommend the use of facemasks or respirators by the general public to help prevent 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).