Coronavirus in California: Get resources and information about COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The outbreak of COVID-19 which is now being classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization is having a major impact across the world, including cities across the San Francisco Bay Area and California.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state's 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state's medical system. He also announced the continued closure of schools across the state through the end of the academic year.

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His move came after counties and communities covering about half the state's population already had issued similar orders. He said the restriction is "open-ended," and it could raise false hopes if he predicted how long the order might last.

The Bay Area shelter-in-place order is expected to last until at least May 3.

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  • Person-to-person: The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

  • Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects: It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

  • When does spread happen? People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

  • How efficiently does the virus spread? How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. Another factor is whether the spread continues over multiple generations of people (if spread is sustained). The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in Hubei province and other parts of China. In the United States, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts and has not spread any further to date.

  • There is still more to be learned: COVID-19 is an emerging disease and there is more to learn about its transmissibility, severity, and other features and what will happen in the United States. New information will further inform the risk assessment.


  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

* The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

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