Coronavirus – Questions and Answers (Updated on 4/6)


Staff, Writer

World news is currently dominated by stories about the spreading coronavirus.  This is obviously a serious situation, but how do we know the proper way to react?  Should we be concerned?  How do we avoid widespread panic?  What sources can we go to for reliable information?  We will do our best to answer some of those questions here


How can we protect ourselves from becoming infected?  First, you should be aware of the latest info on the virus. Some other ways to make sure you don’t catch the virus is wash your hands frequently, stay at least three feet away from anyone who is coughing and sneezing.    Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, if you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care. Also cough and sneeze into your arm or a kleenex. Source: World Health Organization.

How is the virus spread?  The coronavirus is mostly spread person-to-person. You can catch it by being six feet from someone who has it. You can also catch it by touching infected surfaces and then touching your face. Source: Centers for Disease Control.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?  Common symptoms would include fever, coughing, body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath.  Symptoms may not be present until 2 – 14 days after becoming infected.

How can we tell the coronavirus apart from a regular cold or flu, since the symptoms are similar? The only way to tell for sure would be to get tested by a doctor.

Who is most likely to contract the coronavirus?  Everyone is equally likely to contract the virus and spread it, but severe symptoms that require hospitalization are mostly seen in the elderly or very young, weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions.

Could schools eventually be closed because of Covid-19?   Yes! that’s a possibility, but at this point it’s a long shot for River Valley.  There are currently six people in Wisconsin known to be infected with the virus.  If the numbers of infected people grew substantially school officials would have to look at that option.  

How and where did the virus start?  It started outside of an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China.  It is believed the virus was somehow transmitted from animals to people through this market.

Should we be wearing masks to prevent transmission?  Currently,  we seem to be moving in that direction.  face masks are not recommended for the general public in the US. Your risk of catching the virus in the US is likely to be low, since there is little evidence of community transmission at this time.

What is “Social Distancing?”Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events.  We are currently seeing this technique used around athletic events, educational conferences, and any large scale gatherings.