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What You Need to Know About the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

To provide the most current information for clergy, clergy families, congregations and

communities.


Information concerning the 2019 novel (new) coronavirus is evolving constantly as investigation to learn more about the virus continues. The CDC and World Health Organization update as more details become available.


Here’s What We Know Today – February 5, 2020

  • The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new type of coronavirus. It causes respiratory illness in people. It was first identified in Wuhan, China.[i]

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people[ii]

  • 2019-nCoV can spread from person to person. This usually happens through respiratory droplets - when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes, and you breathe it in. Most often, you need to be close to the person (within 6 feet) for it to spread this way. It is not clear whether you can get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes.[iii]

  • At this time, some people will have an increased risk of infection, for example healthcare workers caring for 2019-nCoV patients and other close contacts of 2019-nCoV patients. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low at this time.[iv]

  • The United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020.

  • The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps with respect to travel in response to the growing public health threat posed by this new coronavirus:

  • Effective February 2, 2020 at 5pm, the U.S. government suspended entry of foreign nationals who have been in China within the past 14 days. U.S. citizens, residents and their immediate family members who have been in Hubei province and other parts of mainland China are allowed to enter the United States, but they are subject to health monitoring and possible quarantine for up to 14 days.[v]


While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat.


Remember: It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.[vi]


IT ISN’T TOO LATE FOR YOU TO GET A FLU VACCINE.

  1. [i] https://medlineplus.gov/coronavirusinfections.html [ii] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html [iii] https://medlineplus.gov/coronavirusinfections.html [iv] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html [v] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html [vi] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.htmlCompiled by Rev. Dr. B.A. McGill, DRS, MSN, RN 02/05/2020 for WNCC. Submitted by the WNCC Clergy Care Committee.

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