Coronavirus Disease 2019

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Galveston County Health District is working with local, state and federal partners to closely monitor Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), formerly known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This is a rapidly evolving situation. For up-to-date information and available resources, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 in Galveston County. The health district continues to work with the Texas Department of State Health Services and CDC to monitor the situation. The health district will promptly report any confirmed COVID-19 cases in Galveston County.

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person. The COVID-19 outbreak began in December 2019 and Chinese health officials have reported thousands of COVID-19 infections in China, including some that resulted in death.

Other countries, including the United States, have also reported cases of COVID-19 infection. For the latest developments, including current case counts, please visit the CDC.

How do people become infected with COVID-19?
Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • Rarely, fecal contamination

It’s not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person to person. Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.

However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of the 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 coronavirus.

How can I avoid infection with COVID-19?
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What should I do if I think I may be infected with COVID-19?
If you are experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or been exposed to a sick traveler from China in the last 14 days, please contact the Galveston County Health District at one of the following phone numbers for guidance:

  • 409-938-2215
  • 409-938-2208
  • 409-938-2350
  • 409-938-2322

Information for Travelers
With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in China, the State of Texas encourages everyone to heed the advice of the CDC and U.S. State Department and avoid travel to China. Companies, universities and others with personnel there should make arrangements to return their people to the United States or move them to another area without ongoing coronavirus spread.

CDC travel health notices
U.S. State Department travel advisory
Letter to Texas higher education institutions, school districts and state agencies

Information for Healthcare Providers
The following resources will assist healthcare providers in the evaluation of patients who may be ill with or who may have been exposed to COVID-19:

Flowchart to Identify and Assess 2019 Novel Coronavirus (PDF, updated 2.6.2020)
What healthcare personnel should know about caring for patients with confirmed or possible 2019-nCoV Infection (CDC)
How to properly don (put on), use and doff (remove) PPE (CDC)

For disease reporting and/or local assistance, see the listing of  Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Local Health Entities.

Healthcare professionals can also find interim guidance (including patient evaluation, reporting, testing, specimen collection, and prevention and control recommendations) from the CDC.

Printable Materials
The following materials can be printed for display and/ or distribution to communicate key information to the public about the COVID-19:

Coronavirus Alert for Healthcare Settings

Symptoms of Coronavirus

Latest Information
Galveston County Health District continues to work with the Texas Department of State Health Services and CDC to monitor the situation.

For additional information and resources, please visit:

CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019
DSHS – Coronavirus Disease 2019
WHO – Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC's Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus Disease 2019