COVID-19 Facts

The City of Indianola Public Safety Group (PSG) is monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 Illness. The PSG gathers information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) that is based on facts and historical testing of communicable illnesses. The PSG’s personnel are trained to work in hazardous environments that are chemical or biological in nature. 

Below is information, internet links, and data that can answer many questions concerning this illness and precautionary habits to take.  The PSG will update the accurate factual information as it is received. 

2019 Novel Coronavirus Information (COVID-19)

The best way to prevent ANY illness is to avoid being exposed to a virus. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. 

These include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • 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 that contains at least 60% alcohol.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading your illness to others, you should:  

  • 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.

*Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization

Updated 3/18/2020

New Document Links added 05/21/2020

COVID-19: Related Documents

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 2019 novel coronavirus?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Are all coronaviruses the same?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?

Yes. The first infection with COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of infection with COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s webpage.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The exact way the virus is spread is not fully known. With similar coronaviruses (MERS and SARS) person-to-person spread is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other viruses that cause respiratory illness spread. There also may be some spread when a person touches a surface or object that has virus on it and then touches his or her own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts. There is much more to learn about COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

What are severe complications from this virus?

Many patients have pneumonia in both lungs.

How can I help protect myself?

This virus is not spreading in the United States right now.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to a virus. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

These include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • 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.
  • If you are sick, to keep from spreading your illness to others, you should:  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.

What should I do if I recently traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan South Korea and got sick?

If you are sick and traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea in the 14 days before you became ill, you should get medical care. Call the office of your health care provider before you go and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.

COVID-19-211