What is COVID-19

COVID-19 is the name of the novel coronavirus that is responsible for this outbreak. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause mild respiratory infections like the common cold but also more severe (and potentially deadly) infections. They are zoonotic diseases, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.

A blue image of the Earth with the words COVID-19 Coronavirus

Information About Handwashing Information About Hand Sanitizer Information About Face Coverings 

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is the name of the novel coronavirus that is responsible for this outbreak.
  • Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause mild respiratory infections like the common cold but also more severe (and potentially deadly) infections. They are zoonotic diseases, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
  • Coronaviruses are typically transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets and close contact.
  • Common signs of infection include runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

To learn more visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:

Frequently Asked Questions

Prevention:

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

When and how to wear a face covering:

The Health Officer of Alameda County issued an order on April 17, 2020, that requires people wear Face Coverings, which may be simple do-it-yourself coverings as further described below, in three main settings. First, members of the public must wear Face Coverings while inside of or waiting in line to enter Essential Businesses and other businesses or facilities engaged in Minimum Basic Operations, providing Essential Infrastructure, and providing Essential Government Functions (except Healthcare Operations, which are subject to different requirements), when seeking healthcare from Healthcare Operations, and when waiting for or riding on public transportation and other types of shared transportation. Read the full order here.

Request Masks for Your Business

Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Face Coverings Frequently Asked Questions

For tutorials on how to make face coverings visit the CDC website.

Videos on how to make DYI Face coverings:

When and how to wash your hands:

Spanish Video

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Follow these five steps every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Use Hand Sanitizer When You Can’t Use Soap and Water.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

How to use hand sanitizer.

  1. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  2. Rub your hands together.
  3. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

Map of public handwashing stations