What is Coronavirus?

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop, the Maine Leadership Institute is closely monitoring information and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help keep our staff healthy, and our communities safe.


What is Coronavirus?

According to the CDC, the novel coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses common in people and many different species of animals. The virus causes a respiratory illness, called COVID-19, and can spread from person to person. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Read more from the CDC.


How is the Virus Spread?

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
 

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • 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 occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
     

Spread from contact with contaminated 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.
 

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

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Maine Leadership Institute has created a unique set of internet based programs for students to continue their education at home.