Coronavirus Information

Updated April 6, 2020: The health of our PCI community is our top priority. As we continue to closely monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we will update this resource page with new and relevant information.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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

How does coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 

What are the symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those infected with the virus experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

CDC officials believe the symptoms can manifest in as few as two or as many as 14 days after exposure.

Is there a vaccine? 

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

What should I do if I am sick?

  • 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.

If you have traveled to or from an affected area in the last 14 days and feel sick with a fever,  cough, or have difficulty breathing, or if you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms, the Iowa Department of Public Health is asking that you do the following:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a healthcare office, call ahead and tell them about your travel and your symptoms.
  • Do not travel while sick. Avoid contact with others. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash hands often.
Hands being thoroughly washed

Prevention Protocol

The best strategy to reduce the risk of becoming ill is to avoid crowded settings and take preventive actions:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or with a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve. Dispose of tissues in no-touch trash receptacles.
  • Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with coworkers and customers.
  • Avoid shaking hands and always wash your hands after physical contact with others.
  • If wearing gloves, always wash your hands after removing them.
  • Keep frequently touched common surfaces (for example, telephones, computer equipment, etc.) clean.
  • Try not to use other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment.
  • Minimize group meetings; use e-mails, phones and text messaging. If meetings are unavoidable, avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with others and ensure that the meeting room is properly ventilated.
  • Limit unnecessary visitors to the workplace.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle; attention to rest, diet, exercise and relaxation helps maintain physical and emotional health.

Important Links

We encourage you to continue accessing information related to COVID-19 from expert sources such as these:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Official Coronavirus Information »

Official Map of Confirmed U.S. Cases »

World Health Organization Official Coronavirus Information »

Johns Hopkins CSSE Map of Global Cases »

Iowa Department of Public Health Coronavirus Information »