Coronavirus: General Questions and Answers
Have questions about coronavirus? Call the Peninsula Health Department call center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday: 757-594-7069.
More Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information
What is it?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can infect humans or animals. Most people become infected with the coronavirus that causes the common cold at some point during their lives. However, three types can cause severe respiratory infections – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS), and the new SARS-CoV-2 (which can cause the infectious respiratory disease Covid-19 – coronavirus disease 2019).
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus, meaning it has not been identified before.
How many cases and deaths in the region? Virginia Department of Health data
How many cases and deaths in the state? The Virginia Department of Health updates daily
How many cases and deaths in the world? Johns Hopkins University compiles this.
How does it spread? Covid-19 is spread primarily through respiratory droplets (meaning moisture that comes from coughing, sneezing, singing, or talking). The virus may also spread by airborne transmission in certain circumstances. The infection may be transmitted by exposure to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours. These viruses may be able to infect people who are farther than 6 feet away from the person who is infected or after that person has left the space, and occur within enclosed spaces that have inadequate ventilation. On some occasions, the infected person may be breathing heavily, such as when singing or exercising.
What are the best ways to protect myself? You’ve heard this: Get vaccinated against Covid-19, wash your hand often, use hand sanitizer, disinfect, wear a mask, and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others when possible.
Do I really need to wear a mask? Yes, says the CDC, when you are around other people. People can be contagious before they show any symptoms. A face covering protects others and offers you some protection. Here are some tips.
What is social distancing? Staying about 6 feet from others
What about variants? Viruses constantly mutate, so variations of the SARS-CoV-2 have been expected. Government agencies, including the CDC, are keeping an eye on these variants and testing them. So far, the vaccines in use offer protection against the variants known to be in the U.S.
Why are variants a concern? The virus might develop traits that make it more worrisome, including:
- Spreading more easily.
- Causing more severe illnesses.
- Being resistant to vaccination.
How long does the virus live on surfaces? That varies by surface.
What should I do if I think I’m sick? Symptoms and what to do.
Should I get tested? State interactive guide goes through symptom, maps testing sites, provide links.
How can I get help?
How do I apply for unemployment? The Virginia Employment Commission
How can I find food assistance? The Peninsula Foodbank can help you find a food pantry near you.
What about emergency social services help? Contact Human Services at 757-727-1800.
How do we get back to normal?
What is the state plan for reopening? It’s called Forward Virginia
- Centers for Disease Control
- The Virginia Health Department
- Hampton coronavirus FAQs
- Hampton City Schools
- Preparation information: U.S. Department of Homeland Security