CINCINNATI — Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.
Businesses and organizations have stepped up to help local students learn at home during coronoavirus-related school closures, according to a news release from Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS).
CPS moved classes fully online on Tuesday, but not every student received a printed learning packet before the switch. For students who didn’t have a chance to get their take-home packets printed, parents can print them at any Cincinnati-area Staples at no cost. General Electric also made a donation to CPS to help cover the cost of printing take-home packets.
Local churches have also offered to distribute learning packets to CPS students. Packets can be picked up at 11 different churches between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.
According to CPS athletic manager Josh Hardin, Care and Collaborate for Cincinnati has raised $36,000 in three days to purchase hygiene kits and non-perishable food items that CPS families can pick up at any of the 24 designated meal-pickup sites.
“We are thankful for the great members of the community that continue to show how much they truly care for our kids and our city,” Hardin said in the release.
CPS said many people have asked how they can volunteer at distribution sites, but they have limited the number of volunteers in order to maintain the recommended number of people gathering in a single location to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
For those who want to help, CPS said they are accepting monetary donations to the Care and Collaborative for Cincinnati Campaign. To donate, contact Asia Bradford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a check to Cincinnati Public Schools at Attn: Collaborate & Care, P.O Box 5381, Cincinnati, OH 45201-5381.
For more information about making a non-monetary donation, contact Ricky Miller at email@example.com.
Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:
- Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
- See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.
- State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
- See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.
- SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.
What is coronavirus, COVID-19?
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.
What are the symptoms? How does it spread?
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.
The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.
Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to 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. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.
The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms, but it can be spread even at asymptomatic stages.