Coronavirus General Overview

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a new virus strain that hasn’t been identified before in humans. It was first identified when it caused an outbreak of respiratory illness in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in 2019. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). As with any newly emerging infectious disease, knowledge about COVID-19 is evolving with time. At this point, it is clear that the virus can pass person-to-person and cause severe disease.

How does the Coronavirus Spread?

Current knowledge of how SARS-CoV-2 spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses, such as MERS-CoV and SARS. Most often, the spread of these viruses from person- to-person happens among close contact (within about 6 feet for a prolonged period). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. It’s currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. With most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest. Research to clarify the transmissibility, severity and other features associated with COVID-19 is ongoing. This information will further inform the risk assessment.


View the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19.


  • If you have not been to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Italy or been in close contact with someone who has been to one of these countries and is sick, your risk is very low.
  • If you have been to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Italy and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left one of these countries, you should: 
    • Seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Not travel while sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Federal, state, and local recommendations

  • On February 26, 2020, the County of Orange issued a  press release notifying Orange County residents of the declaration of a local emergency and local health emergency in order to ensure proper coordination of agencies and funding to prepare for the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in Orange County. 
  • Late on Wednesday, March 11, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released an updated guidance document relative to gatherings and the coronavirus (COVID-19). They have determined that non-essential gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until the end of March. 
  • On Sunday, March 15,  Gov. Gavin Newsom released updated guidance for all communities throughout California to limit the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Specifically, Gov. Newsom called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs, and brewpubs to close throughout the state, urged all seniors and people with chronic health conditions to isolate themselves at home, and for restaurants to reduce occupancy by half to keep people farther away from each other. 
  • On Sunday, March 15, the CDC recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.
  • On March 16, President Donald. J. Trump announced new guidelines to address COVID-19: 15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • On March 16, following President Trump and Governor Newsom, the City of Yorba Linda has declared a local state of emergency to enhance capabilities to respond to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) concerns. This emergency proclamation (PDF) allows the City to promptly take the actions necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare within the City, coordinate with other government agencies, and seek federal, state, and county assistance, as needed.
  • On March 17, the County Health Officer Issues Order to Slow Spread of COVID-19.
  • On March 18, the County Issues Amended Health Order and Guidance (PDF) and FAQ Fact Sheet (PDF) in light of new and changing State guidelines and to provide clarity for Orange County residents and businesses. It is important for all Yorba Linda residents and businesses to read the Amended Order and Guidance in its entirety.
  • On March 19, Governor Newsom issued a State Stay At Home Order (PDF) to stop the spread of COVID-19. The order is effective immediately. Learn more about the Order.  




  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Or in a pinch, sneeze into the crook of your bent arm/elbow.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are experiencing worsening flu-like symptoms, seek medical attention.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that people who are healthy wear a face mask in order to try and protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Download a printable version of these guidelines.


  • Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space (at least six feet) between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases.

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Novel Coronavirus

Self Quarantine Guide


Guidance for Employers

Guidance for Employers