Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Although coronavirus is a very common virus and in its simplest form can cause the common cold, other strains of this virus (MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV) have been known to cause severe respiratory symptoms and pneumonia in some people.
The CDC has published more information about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, and the Washington State Department of Public Health provides the following information about Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020.
How does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.
COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
- Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
- Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
- Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.
The Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19. It might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated people.
- Vaccines continue to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including this variant.
- Vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, including against this variant.
- Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from this variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period.
- Get vaccinated and wear masks indoors in public spaces to reduce the spread of this variant.
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
King County Public Health: Coronavirus Disease 2019
WA State Department of Health: Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheets
WA State Department of Health: Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
CDC: How to Protect Yourself
WHO: Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)
Hilltop Family Resources:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Policy (Hilltop)
Guidelines for gatherings of children and youth while schools are closed
Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus (Child Mind Institute)
Viruses Don’t Discriminate (King County)
Coronavirus and Stigma (King County)