According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a “new” coronavirus that was not identified before. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China and on February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced the disease’s official name.
“Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom,” reports the CDC.
While COVID-19 does not necessarily spread through food, it can spread if you touch an object or surface that has the virus on it then you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, but that’s not the primary way the virus spreads, which is person-to-person.
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
The first way to protect yourself is to know that COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact with each other, which is about six feet. It spreads through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. Beyond understanding how the virus is spread, follow these tips to protect yourself:
- Practice social distancing and stay six feet away from people.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover with a tissue or flexed elbow then wash your hands with soap and water.
- Keep your hands clean by washing them frequently with soap and water or if they’re not available, with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean frequently-touched surfaces often throughout the day.
- If you feel sick, stay home.
- If you are sick, wear a facemask.
- If you have a fever, a cough, and shortness of breath, contact your healthcare provider and follow their directions; they will direct you to the correct facility to be seen.
For more information, you are encouraged to visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website for COVID-19 updates.