Public Safety Alert: Coronavirus Outbreak Update
Thursday, February 13, 2020
updated March 12, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, now referred to as COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
The first case in the United States was announced on Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington State. Visit the state-specific Department of Health websites for statistics for your state.
Where can I find the latest information?
For the most up-to-date information, visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19.
Find additional details at:
Why are people so worried about coronavirus?
This is a new virus, and it is creating great concern in the community. There is not a vaccine for this novel virus yet, and we do not have a specific medicine to treat it. An effective vaccine is most likely 12–18 months away. Also, the coronavirus is contagious – similar to the flu. Most people who become infected with the coronavirus have a mild illness or may not even have any symptoms.
What can I do now to protect myself and decrease the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses like the flu?
- Stay informed.
- Wash your hands.
- Washing your hands is the most effective means of not getting infected and preventing the spread of most viral illnesses.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty and immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes.
- Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces, such as handles, countertops and objects frequently and thoroughly.
- Avoid close contact with other sick people.
- Get all recommended vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.
- Only wear a facemask if a healthcare professional recommends it.
If you are concerned you may have COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone with the virus:
Does TRICARE cover telemedicine?
Some providers may offer telemedicine as an alternative to coming into the office. TRICARE covers medically-necessary telemedicine services when all criteria are met. Learn more at www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices.
What can I do while I’m sick to prevent the spread to others?
For those planning travel to abroad to affected countries:
- View the CDC’s current travel notice and FAQs.
For travelers already in affected countries where the virus may be present:
- View the CDC's current travel notice and FAQs.
For travelers returning from areas with the virus:
United States residents who travel to other countries where this outbreak has occurred may be screened upon re-entry to the US.
Certain military installations have been selected as potential U.S. quarantine sites.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html