Skip to main content

About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses in animals and humans. These illnesses can range from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain not previously identified in humans. COVID-19 was originally detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has now spread to more than 34 countries, including the United States, which prompted the declaration of a public health emergency.

Latest Updates from NC Department of Health and Human Services

April 7 marks the opening of vaccine eligibility for Group 5. This means anyone 16 years and older who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination is eligible to get one. To find a local vaccine provider, visit myspot.nc.gov.

On March 30, Governor Roy Cooper signed three Executive Orders, including:

  • Executive Order 206 extends North Carolina’s statewide residential eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021 in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s recent extension of the nationwide moratorium through the same date.
  • Executive Order 207 expedites the processing of unemployment insurance claims and is also effective through June 30, 2021.
  • Executive Order 205 extends the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC Commission)’s authorization to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption through April 30, 2021.
Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (Latest Updates)

Emergency Briefings and Livestreams

PBS North Carolina provides livestreaming of emergency news conferences. These livestreams appear on thePBS North Carolinaand the Department of Public Safetywebsites. In partnership with North Carolina Emergency Management, PBS North Carolina also provides live Spanish interpretation of emergency news conferences from the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. A Spanish language web stream has been added to both websites.

Code is availablefor digital media providers to embed the web streams into their own content.

What You Should Know

How It Spreads

  • The virus spreads most commonly from person-to-person close contact (within six feet).
  • It is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • It may also be possible that COVID-19 can spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects (although this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads).

How to Protect Yourself

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are feeling sick, stay home and away from others.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes or mouth.
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue, then discard the tissue in a trash receptacle.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (however the virus can stay in your clothes and be passed on for up to a week or more).

Symptoms & Testing

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

In more severe cases, symptoms may include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Emergency Resources for Parents, Kids & Educators

Watch Now | Elmo & Rosita: The Right Way to Sneeze!

Staying Healthy

Learn how implementing simple, healthy routines are key to keeping healthy,

Resources for Kids

Rootle

PBS North Carolina's 24/7 PBS Kids Channel provides a destination for wholesome, educational & entertaining content for children ages 2-8.

Doctor Daniel Game

Learn about all the interesting instruments that doctors use.

Coloring & Activity Pages from Rootle!

Resources for Parents

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Learn important ways to speak with your children about COVID-19.

Daniel Tiger for Parents (App)

The app empowers parents and caregivers with songs and videos from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

PBS Daily

Weekday newsletter offers tips and activities you can use to help kids learn and play at home.

How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus

Tips and tricks that you can use to help you and your kids stay stress free.

Resources for Educators

At-Home Learning

PBS North Carolina (formerly UNC-TV) and the NC Department of Public Instruction bring curriculum-informed educational content to all students for free.

Further Resources & Information

NC 2-1-1 is now a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.