The Red Oak Police Department, Red Oak Fire & Rescue and the City of Red Oak are closely monitoring the information related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For many, this is a stressful time and we want our community members to know what they can do right now to protect themselves and their families. We encourage everyone to follow the common-sense steps provided by the Red Cross within the attached link.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has also created a COVID-19 Call Center and an email box to receive incoming questions from the general public.
COVID-19 Hotline Information
A DSHS COVID-19 Call Center was established and an email box created to receive incoming questions from the general public.
DSHS COVID-19 Call Center: 1-877-570-9779
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday – Friday
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a novel coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not that same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.
How does the virus spread?
The new coronavirus seems to be spreading from person-to-person. Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS coronaviruses.
Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.
Current CDC guidance for when it is OK to release someone from isolation is made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements.
The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.
Someone that has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
How can I help protect myself from COVID-19?
Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.
What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.
For more information, please see the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Preparing Individuals and Communities for COVID-19
On Wednesday, February 26th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the United States’ 15th case of COVID-19. The individual’s exposure source is not immediately known, and it may be the first reported case of community transmission within the U.S. CDC, along with federal, state, and local partners, who are working to prepare communities for the potential of further community spread in the U.S.
CDC recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventative measures as the frontline of defense against COVID-19 and other seasonal respiratory viruses:
• Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At present, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.
• Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
• Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
• Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects
Routine use of these measures by individuals and their families will increase community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak.
To learn more about preventative measures to take should an outbreak occur in your community, visit the CDC’s Community Mitigation Guidance webpage.
Information for the General Public:
What You Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (CDC)
Guidance for Schools:
Public Health Resources
FAQs for Schools and Families (NYCDOH)
Countering Stigma and Bullying:
Fighting Stigma and Bullying (MCDPH)
Stop the Spread of Germs (CDC)
Guidance for Businesses and Employers:
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued interim recommendations to help prevent workplace exposure and transmission of 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
Information for Clinicians/EMS :
CDC HAN (PDF), Update and Interim Guidance on Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), 2/28/20 (CDC)
PUI Assessment and Infection Control:
CDC Interim Guidance, Infection Control, and Home Care Information for Healthcare Professionals
Resources From Other Health Departments:
WA Dept. of Health - Resources include guidance on risk assessment, monitoring contacts, transport and arrival of PUIs, and other evaluation tools for healthcare professionals.
CDC Travel Alert Key:
CDC Watch Level 1: Practice usual precautions for this destination, as described in the Travel Health Notice and/or on the destination page.
CDC Alert Level 2: Practice enhanced precautions for this destination. The Travel Health Notice describes additional precautions added or defines a specific at-risk population.
CDC Warning Level 3: Avoid all non-essential travel to this destination. The outbreak is of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk.