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  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Published on February 12, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

World Health Organization announced an updated name to what was previously called the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The new name is COVID-19, for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (the year it was identified).

Currently in the US, the CDC considers the general public's immediate health risk to be low for this coronavirus. However, it is important to know the risk factors and protect yourself and others from the spread of infection.

If you have returned from China within the past 14 days, or been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus, please contact your healthcare provider if you have become ill, or call the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Disease Control Department at 805-681-5280.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever with cough or shortness of breath.

Patients with these symptoms seeking care at our hospital emergency departments are asked to call ahead if possible, or stop outside the emergency entrance and call the phone number provided at the entrance doors. A staff member will provide a properly fitted mask and assist with protected entry to avoid exposure to others.

As with other respiratory illnesses like cold and flu, you can help prevent the spread of germs by getting an annual flu shot and practicing hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue or your sleeve -- not your hands -- when you cough or sneeze.

  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid contact with others if you are sick with cold or flu symptoms.

Public Health Resources

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

Recorded information line: 805-681-4373

FAQ for Community Members: English / Spanish

US Centers for Disease Control

CDC Resources: What the public should do

California Department of Public Health

CDC Coronavirus Summary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus

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Media and Public Relations Contact

Maria Zate, Manager of Public Relations

Phone: 805-879-8986

Email: mzate@sbch.org