Welcome to the first issue of our new weekly newsletter covering California’s experience with COVID-19, the novel strand of coronavirus currently sweeping the globe. This is a special edition of the newsletter; all subsequent issues will be sent on Tuesday mornings.
To help you manage the impact of the coronavirus on your business, this Thursday C.A.R. will be releasing a microsite with FAQs, talking points and best practices. Stay tuned for more information.
Because there are many different scientific terms associated with this public health crisis, we are taking a moment in this first issue to make sure we are all on the same page with respect to terminology. Here is a brief glossary of terms we will be using:
- Pandemic: The worldwide spread of a disease that affects large numbers of people. Note that upgrading from an “epidemic” to a “pandemic” doesn’t necessarily mean the disease is more dangerous, just that it is no longer confined to one region.
- Social Distancing: Measures taken to remain out of public spaces, avoid mass gatherings and maintain distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.
- Quarantine: Separation from others of a person reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease, but who is not yet exhibiting symptoms.
- Isolation: Separation from others of a person reasonably believed to have been infected with a communicable disease.
- Incubation Period: The time it takes for symptoms to appear in an infected person.
- Community Transmission: When a virus spreads from person to person outside healthcare settings, meaning people who do not believe they are infected could be passing on the virus to others.
- Containment: Sets of actions (like isolation and quarantine) that public health officials use to stop the spread of a disease.
- Mitigation: Sets of actions (like social distancing) that persons and communities can take to slow the spread of respiratory virus infections.
Sources: The New York Times, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Society for Microbiology