We are featuring the most commonly asked questions

 receive from our readers 

about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Last update: 05/19/2020

  • Will the coronavirus cause my child to have Kawasaki disease? Can it spread as fast like the adult's COVID-19? Recently, there have been reports of a rare condition in children called MIS-C (multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children). Kids may have symptoms that look like Kawasaki disease, including fever that is persistent, rash on the skin, and swelling in different parts of the body. Just like adults, kids can have mild symptoms too. There are a lot of answers we don't have, but several scientist and organizations like the CDC and (WHO) the World Health Organization are looking to find answers. Remember if you or your child show symptoms of COVID-19 call a doctor's office immediately.

  • Can you get sick if a food processing employee is sick with COVID-19 at work? Will regular cooking kill the virus? What about raw vegetables? At this time, the coronavirus is believed to spread person-to-person usually through respiratory droplets, but NOT from food or food preparation. There are viruses you can get from contaminated food, like Hepatitis A. This is not the case with the novel coronavirus.

  • Is it true that my pet can get COVID-19? Is there a way to prevent this? There is still a lot to learn about pets and the coronavirus. It is known that it's possible this virus can spread from humans to animals. The CDC's recommendation is to protect your pet like you would any human in the house (uhm...without the mask). So yes, your pet should practice social distancing. If you get sick with COVID-19, let someone else in the house care for them. If you're the only one that can care for your pet while you're sick, wear a mask and wash your hands before touching them. 

  • Should I put a mask on my baby if I leave the house?  The mask is not recommended for children less than 2 years old. It's also not for people who have trouble breathing or are incapacitated.  The mask could keep them from breathing properly. If at all possible, keep you and your baby home.

  • Is my homemade mask going to keep me from getting the COVID-19?  Remember, cloth mask were recommended to slow the transmission of the virus from an infected person. Give yourself space (6 feet or greater) from those who have COVID-19 or are carriers, while wearing your mask. A mask alone is not made to give you 100% protection.

  • I saw a really cool mask on the internet that’s about $20. Should I buy it for me and my family?  All mask are not created equal. Just because it looks cool or fashionable, doesn’t mean it fits the current recommendations by the CDC.  If you have to go pick up groceries and other essential items, make sure it's a mask made of tight woven cotton cloth...not spandex, or nylon, or polyester blend.

  • How effective is using hand sanitizer? When used correctly, it’s effective. Correctly means, to use hand sanitizer that has at least 70% alcohol content and rub your hands for AT LEAST 20 seconds. Don’t use a paper towel to dry it off. Make sure your hands air dry. If you don’t have hand sanitizer, using soap and water for 20 seconds works great! Don’t forget to scrub the back of your hands and your thumbs.

  • How long can the coronavirus stay in the air and surfaces? Well, it depends. The coronavirus is mostly commonly spread through droplets from an infected person that is sneezing, coughing or even talking. The droplets are a bit too heavy to hang in the air for too long and usually will fall to a surface. The biggest risk of becoming infected is being in close contact with an infected person or surfaces near them. It’s unknown exactly how long the virus is active on surface, but definitely a shorter time period on permeable surfaces (something that water can soak through) like cardboard versus impermeable surfaces (like plastic, steel).

  • Since it stays on surfaces, I’m assuming it’s best to wear gloves, right? Okay, here’s the thing about the gloves. Yes, if you touch a surface that has the virus, the gloves will protect your hands. But remember, it could still be on the glove and could transfer to other surfaces, including your face, or glasses or cell phone. Keep your gloved hands off your face. Also, dispose of the gloves properly…in the trash.

  • Since I wipe down all of my surfaces with anti-bacterial and anti-viral wipes, that should kill the virus right? The pre-moistened disinfectant wipes work well, when they are used as directed. A common mistake most people make is to use the wipes, and then immediately follow-up with a paper towel or cloth to dry the surface. Don’t.do.that.  If you look at the instructions, it should tell you how long the surface should stay wet with the cleanser in order to be effective. Follow the directions.

  • If I get tested and I have the COVID-19 antibodies, can I still get sick? Possibly. Your immune system will make antibodies if you are exposed to any specific virus, including COVID-19. Because it's new, it has not been confirmed that these antibodies will stay around long enough to keep you from getting sick again if exposed at a later time. There have been reports of people having COVID-19 more than once.

  • I’m hearing that hydroxychloroquine is the treatment for COVID-19. If I start getting symptoms, should I have my doctor prescribe it to me? Number one, if you start getting symptoms, you should call your healthcare provider first to see if you have COVID-19. Most people have mild symptoms and can stay home to support their immune system with plenty of rest, fluids, and medications to control fevers. Although the FDA permits the use of hydroxychloroquine for emergency use, this medicine is still under investigation and is not considered an official treatment of COVID-19.

  • How can I tell when cabin fever has become something more serious and it’s time to seek help? To be honest, it’s never too early to seek help. The “stay-at-home” orders and social distancing is affecting all of us in different ways. There are ways to manage cabin fever, but sometimes the thought of being stuck at home can become overwhelming.  Remember, it’s never too early to talk to a counselor or your healthcare provider.

  •  I’m still having to go to work and be around people, but I want to visit my grandmother. Is it safe to visit her? Right not, it’s really important to protect our “vulnerable population.” Elderly people have a higher chance of getting really sick with COVID-19. Since you are still working and around lots of people, it may be too risky to visit right now. One of the safest ways to visit your grandmother is virtually.  There are ways to visit the elderly at really safe distances, including waving through the house window while communicating by phone. Although you can't hug her right now, try to think of other fun ways to connect.

Helpful Resources:

Disaster Distress Hotline - 1-800-985-5990

National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-7233

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov

U.S. Food and Drug Administration - https://www.fda.gov

World Health Organization - https://www.who.int