As the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, St. Joseph’s Hospitals are determined to do their part to keep the local community informed about preparation, protection, and potential impact. We are monitoring the outbreak and communicating regularly with local practitioners and government officials to serve and protect patients, team members, and the community.
Get the latest information about preparing and responding to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19?
The Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from common colds to more severe diseases in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. This strain of Coronavirus was first reported in the Wuhan region of China.
How Can someone get the COVID-19?
COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person and when in close contact (about 6 feet). The spread can occur when an infected person releases respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze and inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching an infected surface or object and then touch their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that’s not the primary way the virus can spread.
What Can People Do?
The guidance for avoiding novel Coronavirus is like that for any respiratory virus, such as the flu or common cold:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (at least 20 seconds) and avoid touching your face. This is a simple, easy, and effective way to prevent spreading germs and to help yourself and others stay healthy
- Stay away from people that are sick
- Get proper rest and eat healthily
- Stay home when you’re sick and encourage family, friends, and colleagues to do the same
Who Can Get Infected?
People of all ages can be infected by COVID-19. However, older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions, including blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, and heart disease appear to be more vulnerable to the virus.
What to Do if Similar Symptoms Occur?
If people have symptoms and believe they have been exposed to the Coronavirus through travel or contact with someone who has traveled, contact the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) directly at 866-779-6121 or COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org. If they do decide to seek medical care, they are asked to call their primary care doctor or the facility first so they can prepare for their arrival.
Is There a Vaccine?
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.