Officials with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention say the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, in the U.S. is inevitable but that citizens should not panic because "our containment strategy has been largely successful."

With that said, there are safety precautions that everyone can take in the event the coronavirus becomes a pandemic.

The Department of Homeland Security has the following guidelines on its website:

Before a Pandemic

  • Store a two-week supply of water and food.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

During a Pandemic

Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

For information on the virus, symptoms and how it spreads, visit the CDC's official website here. 

Below is an interactive map tracking cases of COVID-19 from Johns Hopkins University. If the map doesn't load, click here

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