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This page contains the latest information on the COVID-19 from the Josephine County Public Health Department. Information is current as of 3 p.m., March 29.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people.

In December 2019, an outbreak of a new respiratory infection was reported in China. The virus has since been named “SARSCoV-2,” and the disease it causes is named COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a new disease. We are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread.

The virus appears to spread mainly from person-to-person. It is most commonly spread by an infected person who coughs or sneezes, and people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). While people appear to be most contagious when they have symptoms, some spread might be possible before people show any symptoms. While there have been reports of this happening, this is not the main way the virus spreads.

The illness related to COVID-19 has ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness, and in some cases death. Symptoms commonly appear 2 to 14 days after being infected with the virus. Common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

While we are still learning about how COVID-19 affects people, those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others do. Currently, there are no antiviral medications or vaccines available to treat or prevent the infection. 


The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, everyday actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These actions include:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home, stay safe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then dispose of the tissue in the trash can.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
People who think they might have been exposed to COVID-19 should call their local healthcare provider or local hospital immediately.




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