- What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- How does COVID-19 spread?
- How can you prevent coronavirus?
- How many cases of COVID-19 are there in Arkansas?
- Local Arkansas resources for COVID-19 information »
- Resources for global information about coronavirus »
What is coronavirus?
There’s no question that we’ve all heard about novel coronavirus, but what is it exactly? COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness that was first identified in late 2019 after an animal-to-human transmission. “Novel” viruses are those that have not been identified in humans—and thus humans have no antibodies to the virus yet. This can make diagnosis, treatment, and prevention particularly difficult, as most viral vaccines are developed through researching how the human body has responded to the virus previously.
Coronavirus is transmissible between humans and is currently spread through most of the world.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms of COVID-19 typically appear between two to fourteen days after exposure. The most common symptoms are mild-to-severe dry cough, shortness of breath, and fever. In some patients who are at-risk due to age or preexisting conditions, pneumonia may develop in both lungs.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads from person to person in a few ways, including:
- Respiratory droplets from an infected person (coughing, sneezing)
- Conversation and touch between people who are in close contact
- Touching a surface that has been touched by an infected person and then touching your face
How can you prevent coronavirus?
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and the best way to prevent transmission is to avoid exposure in the first place. The CDC recommends a number of preventative actions to employ in daily life, including:
- Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use of at least 60% alcohol hand sanitizer will work in a pinch, but soap and water remain the best option.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away OR cough into your elbow and then wash your hands and change your shirt.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands or after any public interaction.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or those you have not isolated with.
- Stay at home outside of essential work or trips to the store for needed items.
- Disinfect high-contact surfaces in your home, including counters, doorknobs, handrails, etc.
Slowing the Spread of COVID-19
In an effort to slow the spread of the disease, keep our community safe, and avoid overburdening our local healthcare system, the following mandates and closures are currently in effect:
- All Arkansas public schools will remain closed through the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year.
- Bars and restaurant dining rooms have been closed statewide, though delivery and pick-up are available for many locations.
- Out-of-state visitation to Arkansas has been limited.
- Rental properties and hotels have been ordered to limit guests to healthcare works, law enforcement officers, and other authorized personnel.
- The public is urged—though not yet mandated—to follow federal social distancing guidelines, self-isolate as possible, and wear masks during public outings.
Local Arkansas resources for COVID-19 information
To stay up-to-date with local COVID-19 information, we encourage you to frequent the following sites:
- State of Arkansas COVID-19 dashboard »
- Arkansas Department of Health live COVID-19 case map »
- Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 information center »
- KNWA coronavirus news coverage »
Resources for global information about coronavirus
Misinformation has a tendency to spread much faster than the coronavirus itself, so it’s important to look to trusted organizations for information. For details on the virus and updated news on its spread, we recommend the following pages: