Coronavirus is a term for a group of viruses. Four types of coronavirus cause the common cold. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people at high risk for developing a more serious case of COVID-19 are older adults and those with chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC believes that symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure. Mild cases may seem like a cold or a lower respiratory illness, such as bronchitis. In those with weakened immune systems, including people with chronic illness and the elderly, the virus can cause severe symptoms. These may include difficulty breathing, and high fever and may lead to pneumonia or other severe infections.
The most important thing is to stay calm. If you develop a fever, cough, or other signs you may have COVID-19 infection, you should immediately contact your doctor and/or local medical center to discuss whether you should get tested for the virus.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, including:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Follow social distancing recommendations, remaining six feet away from all individuals aside from those in your household.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick (stay at least six feet away if possible).
Please note that the CDC is advising individuals to stay home when you are sick, particularly if you are experiencing the symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection as described above: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
The New York City Department of Health recommends wearing a face covering (such as a scarf, dust mask, or bandana) when out in public. Ideally, wear a clean face covering every day. Please conserve medical-grade masks for our health care workers.
During this national public health emergency, Beacon is issuing new policies to serve our members and ensure access to care. SelectHealth and VNSNY CHOICE Total members can visit https://www.beaconhealthoptions.com/coronavirus for the latest updates.
As a SelectHealth member, you are welcome to take advantage of Beacon Health's myStrength, a free online emotional wellness program. Learn more by clicking on the links below:
New York State is partnering with Headspace to provide free mindfulness, meditation, and mental health resources to all New Yorkers, including a special NY collection of meditation, sleep, and movement exercises. Helping you—and your fellow New Yorkers—stay strong and be kind to yourselves, with a New York state of mind. Learn more at: www.headspace.com/ny.