Hayward Score Advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The COVID-19 virus has many similarities with the other corona-type viruses, plus those for the common cold and the flu. Therefore, routine preventive measures for those also apply to COVID-19. However, COVID-19 also has critically important differences, some of which are not yet well known, that must be taken into account for reduced risk and increased prevention. Correctly understanding those additional differences is essential for success. 

General Advice for Coronavirus Prevention (and all viruses)  

Additional Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is different from the common cold which creates inconvenience for a few days to a week or more. It is also different from the “ordinary” seasonal flu. The risk of severe and prolonged illness from the flu is greater than for the common cold and has a potential death rate of between 0.001% to 0.003%. Coronavirus symptoms are more severe than the common cold or seasonal flu, and the virus has a reported death rate closer to 3.4% (as of March 4).

As of February 27, coronavirus transmission directly from an infected person to an uninfected person has been documented without known close or intimate contact. A more frequent method of coronavirus transmission is from touching surfaces where the virus is residing, then transferring them to yourself by touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes. Surface cleaning is more effective than wearing a face mask.

The combination of increased risk, frequently changing details, and uncertainty has placed COVID-19 at the top of global public awareness and aggressive public health activity. The importance of the situation also justifies adding specific personal behaviors in addition to the general advice above to minimize virus exposure. 

Effective Actions for Coronavirus Prevention

CDC recommendations apply to both your protection from acquiring the disease and for the protection of others from you, just in case you have the virus but don’t exhibit symptoms. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Should my family be wearing masks?
Neither the CDC nor the Surgeon General currently recommends that people who are healthy wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including the new coronavirus. 

Who should wear a mask?
There are certain groups of people who should wear masks. Not buying masks as a preventive measure, can help make sure they are available to the people who need them.

How should I clean shared and high-touch surfaces?
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning methods of water and a mild detergent (soap is fine) to physically remove the virus. At a minimum, clean these surfaces every few hours. Don’t forget to clean under items and to occasionally remove your phone case.  You can follow with a disinfectant spray or wipe to inactivate any that may remain. Clean first, then disinfect for maximum protection. Choose fragrance-free options to minimize chemical exposure and wash your hands after cleaning surfaces.

Diligence for preventive cleaning of high touch surfaces is important because it isn’t conclusively known how long COVID-19 can linger on surfaces or survive outside of respiratory droplets. But if this new coronavirus resembles other human coronaviruses, such as its “cousins” that cause SARS and MERS, it can stay on surfaces — such as metal, glass or plastic — for as long as nine days, according to a new study. In comparison, flu viruses can last on surfaces for only about 48 hours. COVID-19 can also be affected by temperature, humidity, and other factors in ways that aren’t yet fully understood. 

Will an air cleaner help?
Filtration-type air cleaners cannot capture and remove all, or even most, airborne viruses. However, they can help reduce exposure by decreasing the amount of virus and most virus-carrying particles from the air.

What else can I do at home to reduce my risk?

Add Ventilation:
American homes are chronically under ventilated owing to our habit of shutting windows and relying on recirculated air. If you don’t have a mechanical ventilation system that will allow you to bring in fresh air, then you need to open windows. Fresh, outdoor air helps to dilute airborne contaminants and lessens the risk of infection. There are two basic ways to ventilate using your windows:

Increase Filtration effectiveness: 

Upgrade your furnace’s air filter to MERV 13 or equivalent. These filters can capture more than 80 percent of airborne virus-carrying  particles especially useful if you must recirculate air. Most buildings have lower-grade filters that only capture 20 percent of particles. If you are not sure if your system is designed for a high-efficiency filter, which can reduce air flow, consult a qualified Heating/Cooling contractor. Also replace the filter every 3-4 months or as recommended by the manufacturer. 

Can’t upgrade or change your filter?  Don’t worry. For less than $50, you can make a simple, effective filtered box fan. Click here to learn how-to. 

What if I suspect I am sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Contact your physician or other health care provider immediately. Quick action has the best opportunity of protecting both yourself and others. Become familiar with and follow the guidelines from the CDC here.

Is there a Coronavirus vaccine?
While development and testing are happening quickly, most scientists agree that a vaccine is 12-18 months away from being available.

Where do I go for more information?
Because of the rapidly changing information during these early and often confusing stages of Coronavirus (COVID-19), check the following factual sources for the latest details:


CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6908e1.htm

CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

WHO: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

WHO:   https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

LIVESCIENCE: https://www.livescience.com/how-long-coronavirus-last-surfaces.html

For location-specific information, such as closures or testing, start with your county or state’s Department of Health website.


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