GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS:
We will be living in this new "Coronavirus World" for the foreseeable future. That's a fact. In order for us all to live healthy, productive, and happy lives, it's important to fully understand the Coronavirus, COVID-19 (the illness it causes), the protective safety measures necessary to remain healthy (including social distancing, mask wearing in public, and hand washing), and resources to help with the havoc this virus has already caused. I am hoping that the more informed we are, on an ongoing basis as the scientists learn more and State leaders respond with resources and regulations changes, the more comfortable, resilient, and prepared we can be. The safer we will be. And that has to be the priority as we move forward together.
~ Coronaviruses are common in different animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses infect people and then spread between people.
~ There are many different kinds of coronaviruses. Some of them can cause colds or other mild respiratory (nose, throat, lung) illnesses.'
~ Other coronaviruses can cause more serious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
~ Coronaviruses are named for their appearance: Under the microscope, the viruses look like they are covered with pointed structures that surround them like a corona, or crown (see pic above).
~ A newly identified coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a worldwide pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.
~ Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
~ The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face, wear a face covering in public, and social distance.
~ The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow) and wearing a cotton mask in public.
~ At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.
How does Covid-19 spread?
As of now, researchers know that the new coronavirus is spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets generally do not travel more than a few feet, and they fall to the ground (or onto surfaces) in a few seconds — this is why social and physical distancing is effective in preventing the spread. We continue to learn more about the spread of Covid-19 and will update our information once it is received and confirmed.
How long does it take to develop symptoms after you have been exposed to COVID-19?
Symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days later, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that the median time for symptoms to show up is about five days. That is why the CDC uses the 14-day quarantine period for people with likely exposure to the new coronavirus. It is important to recognize the people can be carriers of COVID-19 and have no symptoms - this is why wearing masks is so critical to halt the spread.
CLICK HERE to sign up for updates on COVID-19 from the CDC.
CLICK HERE to sign up for updates on COVID-19 from Governor Raimondo and the State of Rhode Island.
STAY UP-TO-DATE ON COVID-19
CLICK ON A TOPIC TO LEARN MORE
SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19
Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI
Call (401) 459-5000 or 1-800-639-2227 (TTY/TDD: 711)
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to noon
Individuals & Families: 1-855-840-4774
Employers & Employees: 1-855-683-6757
Our hours are Monday – Friday, 8 am – 6 pm
Neighborhood Health of RI
For individual and family, and small employer plans
1-855-321-9244 (TTY 711)
United Health Care
You can ask questions and get support from our Social Care team 7 days a week.
"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie, Physicist
Actual photo of a Coronavirus
Talking To Children About COVID-19
Commonly used terms:
Antibodies: proteins produced by the immune system to stop intruders (such as bacteria and viruses like Covid-19) from harming the body.
At-risk: how likely one is to experience a certain problem. Someone at low risk is less likely than someone at high risk to develop the problem, such as Covid-19.
Contact Tracing: the process of identifying people who may have come into contact with an infected person in an attempt to stop the spread. (To download the Crush Covid app CLICK HERE.)
Flattening the Curve:
The flatter the curve, the lower our infection rate.(To see our daily infection rate, testing data and other R.I. statistical information CLICK HERE.)
Immunity: the ability of our own (unique) immune system to fight off foreign invaders such as COVID-19. Herd Immunity: occurs when a high percentage of a community is immune to a disease either because of vaccination or exposure
Isolation: Isolation is a health care term that means keeping people who are infected with a contagious illness away from those who are not infected. Isolation can take place at home or at a hospital or care facility.
Novel: new and different from what has been known before. Because COVID-19 is "novel" we don't have antibodies to fight it and therefore everyone is at risk of catching it. Additionally, it means that scientists worldwide are constantly studying and learning more in order to give the best guidance. It also means that the guidance has and may continue to change.
Pandemic: the global (worldwide) outbreak of a disease.
People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people.
You might be asked to practice self-quarantine if you have recently returned from traveling to a part of the country or the world where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, or if you have knowingly been exposed to an infected person.
Social Distancing: deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.
Rhode Island Strong.
We are strongest when we work together, whether it's wearing a mask in public, checking in on an elderly neighbor, preparing a meal for an exhausted front line worker ... I've heard so many wonderful stories of kindness. If you have a story to share or strategies that could be helpful to others ... we're asking you to please send them our way. We'll include this information on the Rhode Island Strong page (CLICK HERE!). Thank you for caring and thank you for sharing! (Ask your kiddos to share what they've learned that might help other kids and they could win a cool prize!)
Rhode Island Stronger.