We’re getting a lot of questions about the coronavirus, and as librarians it’s our job to find you reliable answers! So we have compiled some essential information to help you make informed decisions about your health.
What is COVID-19, or novel coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus is a flu-like respiratory illness. While there are many types of human coronaviruses, COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.
Trusted information sources
The Washington State Department of Health maintains an information page with up-to-date details on the outbreak, the current risk to the public, and links to helpful resources.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has set up a website — accessible in English and Spanish — with a range of information about the current risk to the public, symptoms to watch for, prevention, testing, and advice for schools, communities and businesses.
The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread,and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127and press #. NOTE: The DOH coronavirus hotline is experiencing high traffic and may be temporarily unavailable.
What can you do now to stay healthy?
At this point, the risk to the general American public is still low. But to prevent any possible spread of the virus, people are being asked to:
- Wash their hands frequently. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home and away from others if you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces frequently.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
Should I still visit my library?
If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and other health agencies advise that you stay home. We invite you to explore everything we have to offer on our website. You can download ebooks and audiobooks on Overdrive, stream movies and checkout ebooks and audiobooks on Hoopla, browse magazines and find audiobooks on RB Digital, or you can order books and other materials from our collection through our Mail Order Library
We at North Central Regional Library want you to know that we are taking your health seriously. Our staff are monitoring local health department websites daily, and will respond swiftly and appropriately if the public threat reaches the communities that we serve.