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Sunday, February 05, 2023
<p>Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)</p>

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


What is the difference between coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronaviruses refer to a family of viruses that can cause disease in humans and animals. These viruses can cause the common cold or diseases such as COVID-19.

COVID-19 refers to coronavirus disease 2019, which is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2.  

How does the virus spread? 

COVID-19 can be spread through respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze from an infected person to another person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Spread can happen if these droplets land in a nearby person’s mouth or nose, especially if the person is within 6 feet of someone infected. 

How do I protect myself from COVID-19? 

Although there is no vaccine, the illness can be prevented by practicing social distancing, washing your hands often, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and covering your mouth and nose with a mask or face cover when in contact with other people.

I think I have been exposed to COVID-19. What do I do?

Watch for symptoms:  fever, cough or shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure. People concerned about exposures should call their physician or the county health department at 352-334-8810. 

Physicians can test patients or patients can request an appointment to be tested through the health department, according to Paul Myers, administrator for the county health department. 

Where can I get tested for COVID-19? 

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A list of local testing sites has not been released to the public, but drive-thru testing is being offered by the Alachua County Health Department. 

The drive -thru testing is by appointment only – residents can reach out to the county health department’s call center at 352-334-8810 to make an appointment. 

Why doesn’t The Alligator report the names of infected residents or students? 

Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which protects patient privacy, The Alligator doesn’t have the names of infected residents or UF students. 

How does the federal stimulus package affect UF?

The university will receive more than $30 million from the Department of Education via the coronavirus aid bill. 

More than $15 million of this will be allocated to students in need of financial aid.

Will my classes be online for the Fall semester?

While it’s currently unknown if UF or Santa Fe College classes will be online for Fall semester, several universities across the country are in talks about the possibility of Fall classes remaining online. 

In his most recent column to The Alligator, UF President Kent Fuchs wrote that the university expects to make decisions about the status of Fall semester in June or July.

What grocery stores in Alachua County have reported cases of the virus?

Two Publix stores in Gainesville – one in Tower Square and one in Williston Plaza – each have an employee who has tested positive for the virus, The Alligator confirmed Saturday. 

On Sunday, Whole Foods confirmed that a team member of its Gainesville store located in Butler Town Center has tested positive for the virus.

Which long-term care facilities in Alachua County have reported cases of the virus?

Oak Hammock at UF and Parklands Care Center each have confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their residents or staff, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

The Alligator previously reported 12 confirmed cases of the virus at Oak Hammock among six residents and six staff. 

Though it’s unknown how many cases are at Parklands Care Center, the county has a total of 21 cases of infected residents or staff in long-term care facilities as of Sunday evening.

Contact Alex DeLuca at Follow her on Twitter @AlexLDeLuca. 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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