What You Need to Know About Coronavirus (ASL Video)

Transcript: What You Need to Know About COVID-19

Novel Coronavirus

  • Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause mild illnesses like a cold, to more serious illnesses like pneumonia.

  • Infections with this new virus have been reported in many countries, including the U.S. For an updated list of affected areas, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus

  • The virus is likely to be spread from person to person, but it is currently unclear how easily it spreads.
  • Commonly reported symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Most people (80%) with COVID-19 will feel like they have a bad cold or the flu. Some people will require hospitalization. People who are at most risk for severe illness are elderly or have other health conditions.

How should New Yorkers Protect Themselves?


New Yorkers should go about their daily lives, but take certain precautions:


  • Get the flu shot—it’s not too late. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • If you have fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, and recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread of coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone who has recently traveled to any of those areas, go to your doctor.
  • If you have these symptoms, but no travel history, stay home and call your doctor.
    • Hospital staff will not ask about immigration status.
    • If you need connection to a health care provider, call 311
    • You can also contact ASL Direct via Video Phone: 646-396-5830

This is a rapidly changing situation. Please check nyc.gov/health/coronavirus for the latest updates.