The COVID-19 coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China is clearly a concerning situation for the world. Congress is monitoring this closely, and we've received regular briefings from all the relevant public health officials.
The President has named Vice President Mike Pence to lead the Administration's response effort, and Ambassador Debbie Birx, M.D., a world-renowned public health professional, as a top coordinator of the White House's response.
Federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also taken strong action to limit the spread of the coronavirus within our borders.
There are several steps you should take to prevent the spread of germs. The CDC provides the following guidance on best practices that you can take to minimize the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as the COVID-19 virus:
Practical Prevention Techniques
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 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 wipes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Vaccinations - Stay up to date on vaccinations, including the influenza vaccine.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Maintain at least six feet of distance from anyone exhibiting obvious symptoms.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- 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. As a practical matter, if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should not be reporting to work and should seek appropriate medical attention.
CDC Resources for Specific Groups:
Additional useful websites: