Coronavirus myths: what you should know about things outside your home

There are many myths online. Here is some information to help you and your family learn more about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Will I get infected if I go outside?
It is safe to go outside. Exercising outdoors, such as taking a walk, is an excellent way to stay healthy and reduce stress. You can spend time outside as long as you avoid crowds. Of course, restrictions may vary based upon how severe the outbreak is in the region you live. Please take some time to be outside, if you can.

Can I go grocery shopping?
If you are not sick, you can go grocery shopping. Avoiding peak times is important. Don’t forget to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Carry some hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol base, or wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. However, if you are ill, please have someone else shop for you so that you are not spreading the disease to others.

Can buying products from China lead to infection?
The virus can live on surfaces for some period of time. The shipping and transport times make it extremely unlikely that someone would get infected from an item purchased from anywhere. Also, the materials used in transport are not conducive to the virus surviving for extended periods of time. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after throwing away shipping boxes and cartons is still a good practice to adopt.

Can mosquitos/bug bites infect me?
Fortunately, COVID-19 is not spread by insects. Instead, it is spread through respiratory droplets from other people when they cough or sneeze. Obviously, there are many other diseases that are spread by insects, and you should take usual precautions.

Can eating Chinese food in the U.S. cause coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Fortunately, this is NOT true. There is no evidence that coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted in any food. While it is thought that the virus originated from a seafood market in China, the virus is spread from person to person, not from food.

Check-mark iconRemember how to protect yourself and what you should do if you think you have symptoms

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid social gatherings of greater than 10 people and practice social distancing

What should I do if I think I may have symptoms or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Contact your physician: If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal physician. Also, anyone who thinks they may have had contact with someone who is being tested for, or is confirmed to have COVID-19, should call their doctor’s office.
  • Medical emergency: If you are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency or if you are experiencing severe symptoms requiring immediate attention, go to the ER or dial 911.