FAQs

Covid-19 Response Team Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COVID Response

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A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

(3/8/20) Video from PBS Nova (6min)

  • (03/19/20) Video from PBS News Hour "Confronting Coronavirus" (57min)
  • In this program, news correspondents discuss the beginning of the outbreak, shed light on what health precautions everyone should take, as well as the pandemic's economic impact. This special feature includes interviews with officials, dispatches on the crisis from around the world, plus a virtual town hall with curated questions from viewers across the United States

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO' stands for ‘corona,' ‘VI' for ‘virus,' and ‘D' for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV".

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practiceexternal iconexternal icon for naming of new human infectious diseases.

People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about getting the disease from these people. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, toward people who live in certain parts of the world, people who have traveled internationally, people who were in quarantine, or healthcare professionals.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

  • (4/21/20) This video from PBS Frontline "Coronavirus Pandemic" is documenting the U.S. response to COVID-19. From Washington State to Washington, D.C., this documentary examines what happens when politics and science collide. (55 min)

People can fight stigma by providing social support in situations where you notice this is occurring. Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient. See resources on mental health and coping during COVID-19. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.

Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.

CDC's COVID-19 case numbers include many publicly reported numbers, including information from state, local, territorial, international and external partners.

Delays in reporting can cause the number of COVID-19 cases reported on previous days to increase. (Sometimes this effect is described as "backfill.") State, local, and territorial health departments report the number of cases that have been confirmed and share these data with CDC. Since it takes time to conduct laboratory testing, cases from a previous day may be added to the daily counts a few days late.

USDA is monitoring the situation closely in collaboration with our federal and state partners. FNS is ready to assist in the government-wide effort to ensure all Americans have access to food in times of need. In the event of an emergency or disaster situation, Food and Nutrition Service programs are just one part of a much larger government-wide coordinated response. All of our programs, including SNAP, WIC, and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, have flexibilities and contingencies built-in to allow us to respond to on-the-ground realities and take action as directed by Congress.

Learn more about available FNS flexibilities to help ensure food access during the pandemic response, please visit: www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic .

USDA has not issued any guidance regarding farmers markets. Such decisions are made by localities based on the latest information from the CDC and local and state health agencies.

The AMS Commodity Procurement Program (CPP) will remain fully operational and plans to continue to work with Federal, state and local partners to purchase and distribute food to participants in domestic and international nutrition assistance programs. However, many schools and other institutions are closed across the country, and there may be other disruptions at warehouses, ports, and distribution centers. This may result in requests to delay or divert deliveries or provide other flexibilities. We ask that vendors extend as much flexibility as possible and be assured that CPP Contracting Officers will utilize all available contractual flexibilities and contingencies to continue to serve program recipients effectively during this time. To avoid delivery issues and challenges, all contracted vendors should:

  • Make and confirm delivery appointments prior to shipping; and
  • Communicate with CPP Contract Specialists or Contracting Officers for any deviation to contractual requirements.

USDA expects the U.S. food market to remain well-supplied and food prices to remain stable, or even decline, in the near future (see blog by chief economist Rob Johansson)

  • This is a good college-level nursing video from Ninja Nerd Science that explains COVID-19's epidemiology and pathophysiology as we understood the situation in March of 2020. (50min)

  • This is an April update from Ninja Nerd Science explaining the virology and updated world epidemiology of COVID-19. (48min)

  • (4/16/20) Scientists are unsure. In this video from PBS News Hour, we see that from the moment the novel coronavirus was identified, there were questions about its origin. This April 16th video report suggests U.S. diplomats are now concerned about a lab in Wuhan, China -- the city where the outbreak began. (6min)

    • All data says YES! This topic is discussed in the following videos that come from the Basic Black program broadcasted on PBS.

  • (3/20/20) COVID-19 & Communities of Color (27min)
  • COVID-19 has had a global impact, but communities of color in the U.S. are more at risk when health disparities, lack of wealth and xenophobia are taken into account.


  • (4/17/20) Racial disparities and COVID-19 (27min)
  • Reports around the U.S. indicate black and brown people, especially African Americans are contracting and dying from COVID-19 at an alarming rate, raising questions about healthcare for people of color.

  • Video by Vox

    • Yes! There are both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals that that are spreading COVID 19.

  • In this video from PBS News Hour, they discuss what being sick and symptomless mean with the spread of the coronavirus. (6min)

  • (8/02/16) This documentary investigates the rise of spillover viruses like Zika, Ebola and Nipah that can make the leap from animals to humans. It explains how human behaviors spread diseases and what science can do to anticipate and prevent epidemics around the world. (56min)

  • (10/24/2014) In this Crash Course World History episode, John Green teaches us about disease and the effects that disease has had in human history. Disease has been with mankind since the beginning, and it has shaped the way humans operate in a lot of ways. John provides examples from the Black Death, the Great Dying, and the modern medical revolution to illustrate how disease has changed the world.

This web page was designed in collaboration with the Lincoln University  College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences  -  Cooperative Extension and Research  -  Media Center

COVID-19 Response Team (Click to return to main page)

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The links below will direct you to external resources that you may find useful during this pandemic: