Tarbell’s COVID-19 Resource Hub
The novel coronavirus was first documented in China late last year. Since, cases have been recorded on six continents and over 100 countries.
As the global pandemic continues, Tarbell will update this resource center to ensure our readers not only have the latest information, but an understanding of the virus.
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Below is a short glossary of relative terms and helpful links provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The official scientific name of the coronavirus causing the pandemic. It stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. It was previously known as 2019-nCoV.
Short for Coronavirus Disease 2019. It’s the official name of the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
The time between when someone is infected with a pathogen, such as a virus, and when the first symptoms of illness appear.
When someone who has been exposed to a disease but is not visibly sick stays away from others for a period of time in case they are infected. By keeping their distance, they can avoid spreading the disease to others. A quarantine usually lasts a little longer than the incubation period for a disease, just to be safe.
A quarantine can be ordered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or by state and local governments.
When someone who is definitely sick stays away from others so that they don’t infect anyone else. In the case of this coronavirus, isolation should continue until the risk of infecting someone else is thought to be low. The decision to end isolation should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and the local health department, according to the CDC.
Isolation can be ordered by the CDC or by state and local governments
These are legally enforceable directives that may place restrictions on the activities of individuals or groups in the name of protecting the public’s health. Federal, state or local agencies may issue public health orders, such as restricting people’s movements or requiring that their movements be monitored by health authorities.
A public health strategy in which officials aim to prevent the spread of an infectious disease beyond a small group of people to the broader community.
The public health goal once a virus has spread so widely that it’s impossible to keep it away. Instead of mainly relying on public health authorities to do things like locate sick people and identify their contacts, health officials ask the public to help slow the spread of the virus. Useful actions can include reminding people to stay home when they’re sick and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in buildings daily.
Measures designed to keep people away from crowded places where a virus could more easily spread. In the case of COVID-19, health officials are encouraging members of the public to work from home, cancel mass events and maintain about six feet of space between themselves and others. A radical measure is to close most businesses and order the public to shelter at home except for essential activities, such as purchasing food and caring for relatives, while allowing people to go outside for a walk.
This phrase describes the goal of spreading out infections in a population to minimize the number of people who are sick at any given time.
In the case of COVID-19, it’s anyone who is within 6 feet of a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 for a prolonged period of time.
An increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected among the population in a limited area.
An outbreak that has spread to a wider area.
An epidemic that has spread over multiple countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.
When a public health laboratory has determined a patient has tested positive for a viral infection, but officials are still awaiting confirmation from the CDC. For the purposes of public health, a presumptive positive result is treated as confirmed positive. There are, however, rare situations in which a presumptive positive may turn out to be negative.