What is SARS-CoV-2?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, person-to-person spread has been confirmed. At this time, it’s unclear how easily this virus can be spread between people.  

Signs and symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection commonly include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Sore throat also has been reported in some patients. This novel coronavirus has the potential to cause severe pneumonia and death. Risk factors for severe illness are not yet clear, although older patients and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness. The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s  web page. (Source: About COVID-19), CDC)



2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19)

Reported by Dallas County:

July 27, 2020

**47,239 Dallas County Residents Tested Positive**607 Deaths from COVID-19**

(Numbers are updated at 10:00 AM daily. Note: does not include positive results from persons who reside out-of-state or outside of Dallas County)

Cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Dallas County. Dallas County Health and Human Services is continuing to work closely with the CDC and the Texas Department of State and Health Services to monitor the outbreak of 2019 novel (new) coronavirus infection, called COVID-19, caused by a coronavirus termed SARS-CoV-2, that was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China. 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Department of State and CDC recommends that travelers avoid travel to mainland China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea, and and cruise travel. The recommendations to avoid travel to China applies only to mainland China and does not include Hong Kong, Macau, or the island of Taiwan. CDC has posted several country-specific travel health notices for COVID-19. After travel, if you do not feel well, call your doctor and tell them where you traveled and your symptoms.

Prevention of COVID‑19

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID‑19. The best way to prevent infection is to take steps to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the steps you take to avoid the flu.

  • Wash hands with soap and water.

  • Use hand sanitizer as backup.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Avoid touching face.

  • Disinfect often touched surfaces.

  • Avoid close contact.


DSHS recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus, including COVID‑19:

  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.

  • If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


DSHS also recommends that you start practicing social distancing. Social distancing involves staying away from other people to avoid catching or spreading illness. It's a fancy term for avoiding crowds and minimizing physical contact. This could mean avoiding concerts or weddings, skipping the handshake, and/or staying at least six feet away from others.


See the CDC website for more information on what you can do at home to prevent the spread of COVID‑19: 

At Risk Groups

Early information shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions.

  • Vulnerable populations include people who are:

    • 60 years old and older;

    • People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and weakened immune systems.


*For vulnerable populations, don’t go to gatherings (of 10 people or more) unless it is essential. Avoid people who are sick.

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: stock up on supplies; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick; limit close contact and wash your hands often; and avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel.

Symptoms of COVID‑19

Patients with COVID‑19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of Breath

Learn more about COVID‑19 symptoms on the CDC website.

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