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COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic Information

Due to public health emergency, all San Antonio Public Library locations are currently closed. Playgrounds and fitness equipment are also closed.

Mayor's Emergency Declaration No. 5. 3/23/2020

Fifth Declaration of Public Health Emergency Addendum 4/3/2020

WELCOME

This guide aims to provide current information and reliable resources for understanding and responding to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Important update: CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders. See Cloth Face Covers FAQs.

WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, is caused by a novel coronavirus that was first identified as part of an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

WHAT'S A CORONAVIRUS?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in people.

HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably 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, sneezes, or talks. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
  • It may be possible that a person can become infected by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html 
  • Most people infected with COVID-19 have symptoms no more serious than the common cold or flu and make a full recovery. However, older adults and those with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems at any age are at higher risk for severe illness from this novel coronavirus. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND FAMILY
Currently there’s no vaccine for COVID-19, and the best way  to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

  • Stay home as much as possible and put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 ft) when you must go out while COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This social-distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick (see above).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT OTHERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • Wear a cloth face cover when going out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms. Face coverings add an extra layer of protection in the community setting but do not replace social distancing as the main preventive measure.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

This is a rapidly evolving pandemic. Updated information and guidance will be provided as they become available from public health authorities.

AVOID FAKE NEWS AND HEALTH MISINFORMATION

Since COVID-19 is such a fast-moving pandemic, rumors and misinformation sometimes from seemingly reliable sources is inevitable. It's best to rely on information from authoritative sources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) , the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Below are some critical-thinking toots to help you sort out facts from fake news.