Should you wear a mask? And other facts about COVID-19

By March 12, 2020 News

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

Only the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health labs are authorized to provide testing for COVID-19 in the U.S. 

  • All tests have to be run by the CDC through your local health department. If you are experiencing the symptoms below, please refer to this website for the Austin Public Health Department: or call 512-972-5555.

Ten things to do to avoid getting sick

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  3. Stay home when you are sick
  4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or bent elbow (if tissue is unavailable), then throw the tissue in the trash
  5. Get your flu shot 
  6. Practice social distancing by keeping a 1-3 foot barrier between others when in conversation
  7. Quarantine yourself for 14 days if presenting with symptoms
  8. Avoid non-essential travel to the following countries: China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea
  9. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces especially your phone and steering wheel
  10. Only go to the hospital if you are exhibiting symptoms and are in need of immediate medical attention and testing (If unsure, call your doctor first.)

You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Should you wear a mask?

If you are healthy and not working in healthcare, the answer is NO.

You can visit the CDC website for more information at

  • Click here for a Coronavirus fact sheet.
  • Click here to keep up to date with the current count in Texas.