This is a rapidly evolving situation. Stay up-to-date with the latest information from the Center for Disease Control, the Oklahoma-City County Health Department, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The Oklahoma State Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center can be reached at (877) 215-8336.
Disaster loan assistance from the Small Business Administration can be found here.
2-1-1 is the telephone number that connects people with important community services and resources. If you need help, dial 211.
A comprehensive list of Internet service financial assistance programs for eligible families and individuals can be found here.
How COVID-19 Spreads
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
- Shortness of breath
Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- 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.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor
- Wear a facemask
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- 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.
CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China and South Korea. CDC also advises that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel to Iran, Italy, and Japan. Travelers should practice usual precautions when traveling to Hong Kong. The State Department provides a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to fly outside of the United States.
High Risk Individuals
High risk individuals, such as older adults and people with underlying chronic illnesses, should take extra precautions. If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:
- Stock up on supplies.
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
Women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
Though person-to-person spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been observed in the United States among close contacts, this virus is not currently spreading among persons in the community in the United States and the immediate risk to the general public is low. Pregnant women should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection like washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick.
The Center for Disease Control provides specific information for schools, businesses, etc., here.
Printable flyers encouraging good hygiene can be found here in English and Spanish, as well as a poster on steps to take if you are sick.