Coronavirus Resource Center

We have created this page due to the increase in Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 cases across the nation, including the United States.  The following guidance is drawn primarily from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) resources for health care professionals on COVID-19.

About Coronaviruses

There are many viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals.  Several coronaviruses commonly circulate among people all of the time and cause mild to moderate illnesses, such as the common cold.  Other coronaviruses commonly circulate only in animals.  Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people as has been seen with MERS and SARS

Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia​​

While the exact incubation period for this coronavirus has not yet been determined, it is believed that most infected people will develop symptoms 2-14 days after they were exposed.

Transmission

Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, the person-to-person spread is now widely occurring.

Prevention

There is no vaccine available for COVID-19.  In general, people can protect themselves and others against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice good health habits.

Diagnosis

Currently, testing for COVID-19 can only be done at certain public health laboratories.  Clinical laboratories do not have the ability to test for this particular virus, though they do have the ability to test for the other, more common coronaviruses that circulate in people all the time.​

Guidance

Public health authorities have implemented travel procedures for travelers from China arriving in the United States. 

  • Guidance for travelers from other parts of China (outside Hubei Province) in the past 14 days includes:
  • Guidance for travelers from the Hubei Province and other resources for returning travelers are available on the CDC Information for Travelers website​.  
  • Guidance for people who recently traveled to other countries with community spread of COVID-19​. Monitor CDC Travel Health Notices webpage for important travel notifications.

Travelers returning from countries outside of China with community spread of COVID-19 are encouraged to monitor for symptoms and call their healthcare provider if symptoms develop. 

Resources:

Local Maryland Resources