San Francisco Bay Area coronavirus information and resources

Click here for the latest information about the coronavirus pandemic in the San Francisco Bay Area or click here to see all of our coronavirus coverage from ABC7.

Here are answers to some common questions and additional resources related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the San Francisco area:

What is COVID-19 and where did the novel coronavirus come from?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. Others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.

The coronavirus referenced in news headlines is a newly identified strand. The disease from this new coronavirus is officially named COVID-19, while the virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2. The new virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 and has since spread globally.

Coronaviruses are responsible for two other recent outbreaks: the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak and the 2012 MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak.

What are the symptoms?

The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms can appear anywhere from two to fourteen days after exposure. Click here to see what COVID-19 does to your body.

Those experiencing trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face or confusion should seek medical attention immediately.

Click here for more health and safety information related to the novel coronavirus.

What are the rules about wearing masks in public where I live?

In early April, Bay Area public health officials recommended the use of cloth face covers. Click here to see more about their recommendations.

When does the stay-at-home order end where I live?

Nearly 40 million Californians are now required to stay home and limit social interaction, except for essential activities, until further notice, thanks to an order announced March 19, by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The unprecedented action is in an effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The statewide order followed similar action in the San Francisco Bay Area -- where residents in six counties, and later all nine, were told to shelter-in-place starting March 17 to slow the spread of the virus. Solano County was the final Bay Area county to join the regional shelter order.

A few weeks later, six Bay Area counties announced they were expecting to extend the shelter-in-place order set to expire on April 7. Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and the city of Berkeley, signed a joint jurisdiction to prolong the order until May 3. A few hours later, Sonoma County announced it would also extend the order until May 3.

Click here for more information about the orders in the Bay Area and in California.

When can we stop social distancing?

Easing off the strict social-distancing rules in place in much of the country would have to occur on a "rolling" basis, not all at once, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, reflecting the ways COVID-19 struck different parts of the country at different times.

Fauci explained in an April 14 interview with the Associated Press that, until a vaccine is developed, the nation's ability to test for coronavirus infections and carry out contact-tracing for those infected will determine when we can ease social distancing.

Click here to learn more about social distancing.

How many people have died in my city, county or state?

The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States and around the world is changing every day. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore are maintaining a real-time, interactive map showing the number of confirmed cases and deaths.

Click here to see a comparison of cases in the Bay Area with New York City, the epicenter of the crisis in the United States.

When are hand sanitizer and toilet paper expected to be back in stock?

Numerous retailers have stated that there is no issue with the supply chain for toilet paper and many other household necessities. People are buying these staples at a higher-than-normal rate, and manufacturers are working to get product from their warehouses to store shelves.

Many stores are receiving shipment on a daily basis and restocking shelves that were empty the day before.
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