COVID-19: Facts vs. Fiction

There is a lot of COVID-19 information available through social media and other communications channels. Some of it is helpful and factual, and some of it is opinion or speculation. And some is just plain false. We want to help you separate the COVID-19 facts from fiction as you navigate through this pandemic.

Is wearing a mask or cloth face covering really helpful? The evidence is clear — cloth face coverings reduce the spread of COVID-19. They serve two purposes: to protect the public from those who may be infected with COVID-19 and to protect those infected with COVID-19 from spreading the disease to others.

Wearing a mask is most effective when everyone does it, and it also shows respect and concern for your neighbors and community. Masks are appropriate when physical distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under the age of 2, anyone with difficulty breathing, anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the covering without assistance.

Does COVID-19 more severely affect older adults? Yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as you get older, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older.

There are also other factors that can increase your risk for severe illness, such as underlying medical conditions. By understanding the factors that put you at an increased risk, you can make decisions about what kind of precautions you should take in your daily life.

Is there an effective treatment for COVID-19? Currently, there’s no medication approved to prevent or treat COVID-19, however, progress in treatment has been made. The experimental antiviral drug remdesivir received emergency FDA authorization to be used for severe cases; in addition, a steroid medication can be helpful, and researchers are testing several other promising treatments.

Will the summer heat kill the virus? No. Warmer outdoor temperatures has not made COVID-19 disappear. In fact, spread has been increasing in recent weeks.

Is there a vaccine available to cure COVID-19? No, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 right now. That said, over 100 vaccines are in various stages of development worldwide, including in the U.S. Scientists are working diligently and hope to have a vaccine identified that is both safe and effective later this year, or sometime next year.

How does Idaho count COVID-19 deaths?  As you can see at coronavirus.idaho.gov (click on the link below the blue boxes to get to the data dashboard), confirmed deaths include those who have died with positive PCR laboratory testing results. Probable deaths include decedents without a positive PCR lab test who either had  COVID-like illness and evidence of exposure to the virus or a death certificate which includes COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 listed as contributing to death.

Resources

If you are looking for the latest and most accurate information on COVID-19, please visit the following websites:

CDC Coronavirus Disease Website

Idaho’s Coronavirus Website

Idaho Rebounds Website

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