Videos and Upcoming Broadcasts about Coronavirus
Viruses: What is a Virus?
It's Okay To Be Smart
How Well Do Masks Work? (Schlieren Imaging In Slow Motion!)
- Frontline - Coronavirus Pandemic
- Frontline - COVID's Hidden Toll
- Frontline - Inside Italy's COVID War
- Frontline - The Virus: What Went Wrong?
- NOVA - Decoding COVID-19
- NOVA - How Viruses Like the Novel Coronavirus Evolve
- PBS Digital Studios -COVID-19 Content (YouTube Playlist)
- PBS Newshour - Confronting Coronavirus
- Science Trek - Viruses
Links and Resources in Idaho
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has announced a new toll-free number for Idahoans to call with questions about COVID-19 or the Statewide Stay-Home Order. The number, 1-888-330-3010, will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The number will be in service beginning Monday, March 30.
- Idaho Coronavirus Official State Site
- Idaho Department of Health and Welfare news releases
- Idaho Stages of Reopening
- Idaho CareLine - free statewide community Information and Referral service. Phone number 2-1-1
- Idaho Commission of Libraries - COVID-19 Resources for Libraries
- Idaho Food Bank - Food Assistance Locator
- Idaho Office of Emergency Management
- Idaho Statesman: Varias escuelas de Idaho cierran debido al coronavirus. Aquí tenemos la lista
- Idaho Statesman: Estado de Idaho cierra escuelas hasta 20 de abril, extiende declaración de impuestos
- Idaho Votes - Request an absentee ballot
- Statewide Judicial Emergency Orders
- United Way of Treasure Valley -COVID-19 Treasure Valley Idaho/Southwestern Idaho Medical and Related Supplies Donation Coordination
Regional Public Health District Coronavirus information
If you have symptoms and think you might have COVID-19, please check with your regional health district for instructions on what to do.
Schools and student activities:
- Idaho Education News: School closure map and information
- Idaho High School Activities Association: Information on tournaments, sports and activity cancellations
- Idaho State Department of Education resources for families and schools
- Idaho State Board of Education - Coronavirus Resources
- Boise State University - COVID-19: The latest news from Boise State
- College of Eastern Idaho -Coronavirus Updates
- College of Idaho - COVID-19 Updates
- College of Western Idaho - Coronavirus Information and Resources
- College of Southern Idaho - Coronavirus
- Idaho State University - Coronavirus Information
- Lewis-Clark State College - COVID 19 Information
- North Idaho College - Coronavirus Updates
- Northwest Nazarene University - COVID-19 Resources and Updates
- University of Idaho - Coronavirus Updates
General Information about COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with a common coronavirus diagnosis.
The CDC is updating its Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page regularly at noon, Mondays through Fridays. Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.
Where Did COVID-19 Come From?
The CDC said coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some of which cause illness in people, others cause illness in animals only. Rarely, coronaviruses that infect animals have infected people as well and can be spread between people.
This is what the CDC thinks happened for the virus that caused COVID-19.
"Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people," the CDC said.
Current CDC Risk Assessment
COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised
- Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
- People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥40)
- People with diabetes
- People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
- People with liver disease
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.
Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it
Official names have been announced for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”) and the disease it causes. The official names are:
severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
Why is the disease being called coronavirus disease or COVID-19
On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. The name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practices for naming new human infectious diseases.
Why do the virus and the disease have different names?
Viruses, and the diseases they cause, often have different names. For example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. People often know the name of a disease, such as measles, but not the name of the virus that causes it (rubeola).
There are different processes, and purposes, for naming viruses and diseases.
Viruses are named based on their genetic structure to facilitate the development of diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines. Virologists and the wider scientific community do this work, so viruses are named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
Diseases are named to enable discussion on disease prevention, spread, transmissibility, severity and treatment. Human disease preparedness and response is WHO’s role, so diseases are officially named by WHO in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
ICTV announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020. This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. While related, the two viruses are different.
WHO announced “COVID-19” as the name of this new disease on 11 February 2020, following guidelines previously developed with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
- WHO Director-General's remarks at the media on 11 February 2020
- WHO Situation Report on 11 February 2020
WHO and ICTV were in communication about the naming of both the virus and the disease.
Prevention, Symptoms, Treatment and Myths
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touchingyour eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home as much as possible
- Put distance between yourself and otherpeople.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Resources for Educators
- IdahoPTV Distance Learning
- PBS LearningMedia is a free resource for PreK-12 educators that supports distance learning and provides resources to help explain the virus and promote healthy habits: http://public.pbs.org/DistanceLearningResources
- PBS LearningMedia producers and educators have come together to curate a special collection of resources organized by grade and subject area. PBS LearningMedia - PreK-12 Resources for Emergency Closings and Recursos de PreK-12 para Cierres de Emergencia
- PBS LearningMedia Virus Information & Prevention collection
- How to Talk to Little Learners About Coronavirus (PBS TeachersLounge)
- Distance Learning Tips From One Teacher to Another (PBS TeachersLounge)
- Iowa PBS' The Federal Bureau of Ick
- KET's Healthy Habits | Everyday Learning
- Science Trek - Viruses
Resources for Parents and Caregivers
How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
How do you explain the concept of germs for kids to understand? Do you just tell them to wash their hands and hope they get the importance? When it comes to germs, it's important for kids to learn the facts in a digestible way -- one that's not too daunting. So how do you explain to them the coronavirus?
A quote by Mr. Rogers guides us through that challenging question: "Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.”
Here's a few tips to help navigate the conversation, courtesy of PBS Kids.
- First, share age-appropriate facts and corrected misinformation
- Second, reassure them that they're safe.
- Third, emphasize simple things your family can do to be “germ busters” — for all types of germs that are out there, including hand washing, covering your cough and practicing healthy habits.
You can also use PBS resources to help teach your children. In this Curious George clip, the Man with the Yellow Hat has a cold. Curious George learns how germs can move from person to person and that it's important to wash your hands.
Daniel Tiger is also a great resource. This Daniel Tiger clip, "Germs, Germs Go Away. Don’t come back any day," provides tips to keep germs away by washing hands and coughing into your elbow.
Additionally, As part of an ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sesame Workshop is continuing to expand the Caring for Each Other initiative. Heroes for Health includes a set of resources to provide ways to say “thank you” to essential workers and their families, as well as offer support to cope and thrive as we know these “superfamilies” face unique challenges and opportunities.
Games and Videos
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
- Doctor Daniel Game
- Germs Germs Go Away with Handwashing (video)
- A Germ-Fighting Superhero (video)
- Daniel Tiger for Parents App
- Caring for Each Other
- Step by Step Handwashing with Elmo (activity sheet)
- Elmo and Rosita: The Right Way to Sneeze! (video)
Sid the Science Kid