Coronavirus Disease-2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named “coronavirus disease 2019” or “COVID-19”) that was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance, on the CDC website. The purpose of this page is to highlight resources available for the protection of workers.

Businesses                                                                                                              

The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings, where it is unlikely that work tasks create an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

Guidance to provide US public health authorities and other partners with a framework for assessing and managing risk of potential exposures to COVID-19 and implementing public health actions based on a person’s risk level and clinical presentation can be found below.

Guidance intended to help administrators of public and private childcare programs and K-12 schools prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff can be found in the interim guidance below.

Healthcare Settings

Infection prevention and control procedures follow the hierarchy of controls approach. This approach includes engineering controls, administrative controls (or changes in work practices), and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE), which are all necessary to prevent infections from spreading in workplaces. The interim infection prevention and control recommendations linked immediately below are not intended for non-healthcare settings (e.g., schools) OR to persons outside of healthcare settings.

Staff at local and state health departments, infection prevention and control professionals, and healthcare personnel who are coordinating the home care and isolation of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, including persons under investigation, should refer to the interim guidance for home care.

When preparing for and responding to patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19, close coordination and effective communications are important among 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), commonly known as 911 call centers, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system, healthcare facilities, and the public health system. Recommendations are provided in the interim guidance, shown below.

Specific guidance for the collection and submission of postmortem specimens from deceased persons under investigation and recommendations for biosafety and infection control practices during specimen collection and handling, including during autopsy procedures, are provided in the interim guidance, listed below.

Laboratories

General and specific biosafety guidelines for workers handling COVID-19 specimens are provided in the interim guidance, listed below.

Transportation

Recommendations for the commercial airline industry about COVID-19, as well as recommendations for managing ill travelers onboard if novel coronavirus infection is suspected, can be found in the interim guidance below.

The interim guidance provides recommendations for ships originating from, or stopping in, the United States to help prevent, detect, and medically manage suspected COVID-19 infections.

Personal Protective Equipment Resources

For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low at this time. Healthcare personnel should refer to interim infection prevention and control recommendations and guidance for caring for patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19  for additional guidance related to PPE recommendations.

To understand the difference between surgical masks and N95 respirators and to learn more about N95 respirators recommendations, including a list of NIOSH-Approved N95 Respirators, the following resources are available:

To learn how to properly put on and fit a respirator, the following resources are available:

Page last reviewed: February 18, 2020