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About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses in animals and humans. These illnesses can range from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain not previously identified in humans. COVID-19 was originally detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has now spread to more than 34 countries, including the United States, which prompted the declaration of a public health emergency.

Governor Roy Cooper has declared a State of Emergency on March 10, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Further, on March 14, the Governor issued an Executive Order that requires all K-12 public schools in North Carolina to close for a minimum of two weeks, and bans gatherings of more than 100 people. The Governor also has encouraged employers to allow employees to utilize teleworking arrangements to the fullest extent possible, and alternate work schedules if necessary. Keep reading to learn more about COVID-19 and how to protect you and your loved ones.

Latest Updates

UNC-TV provides live streaming of emergency news conferences. These live streams appear on the UNC-TV and the Department of Public Safety websites. In partnership with North Carolina Emergency Management, UNC-TV also provides live Spanish interpretation of emergency news conferences from the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. A Spanish language web stream has been added to both websites. Code is available for digital media providers to embed the web streams into their own content.

Latest Emergency Briefings (English & Spanish)

Coronavirus Q&A (04/01/20) English

Coronavirus Updates
1 / 4 Videos
Coronavirus Q&A (04/01/20) English
NC Emergency Management and Weather
Coronavirus Q&A (04/01/20) English
Coronavirus Q&A (04/01/20) Spanish
NC Emergency Management and Weather
Coronavirus Q&A (04/01/20) Spanish
Coronavirus Briefing: NC Gov. Roy Cooper (03/31/20
NC Emergency Management and Weather
Coronavirus Briefing: NC Gov. Roy Cooper (03/31/20
Coronavirus Briefing: NC Gov. Roy Cooper (03/31/20
NC Emergency Management and Weather
Coronavirus Briefing: NC Gov. Roy Cooper (03/31/20

BOG 03/30/20: Special Meeting of the Board of Gove

BOG 03/30/20: Special Meeting of the Board of Governors

Additional Coronavirus Updates
1 / 3 Videos
BOG 03/30/20: Special Meeting of the Board of Gove
The University of North Carolina – A Multi-Campus
BOG 03/30/20: Special Meeting of the Board of Gove
UNC System COVID-19 Update for March 23, 2020
NC Channel
UNC System COVID-19 Update for March 23, 2020
BOG 03/20/20: Special Meeting of the Board of Gove
The University of North Carolina – A Multi-Campus
BOG 03/20/20: Special Meeting of the Board of Gove
What You Should Know

How It Spreads

  • The virus spreads most commonly from person-to-person close contact (within six feet).
  • It is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • It may also be possible that COVID-19 can spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects (although this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads).

How to Protect Yourself

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are feeling sick, stay home and away from others.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes or mouth.
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue, then discard the tissue in a trash receptacle.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (however the virus can stay in your clothes and be passed on for up to a week or more).

Symptoms & Testing

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

In more severe cases, symptoms may include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Upcoming Specials

April 21, at 9 PM

FRONTLINE (Coronavirus Pandemic)

Explore the story of coronavirus, its impact and the response of two Washington governments—the state and the federal government in Washington, D.C.

Past Specials

Focus On: COVID-19 - Sen Thom Tillis on Stimulus Bill

U.S Senator Thom Tillis joins Marc Rotterman for an in-depth discussion of the federal $2 trillion dollar, economic stimulus aimed at supporting businesses and the overall economy.

Focus On: COVID-19 w/ Dr. Mandy Cohen (3/25 Update)

Secretary Mandy Cohen continues her weekly conversations and provides us an update on North Carolina's response to the still-growing COVID-19 pandemic.

Focus On: COVID 19 (March 18, 2020)

Dr. Mandy Cohen discusses the week's efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.


Learn how diseases such as Ebola, Zika and Nipah are a rising global threat.

PBS NewsHour Presents: Confronting Coronavirus

Look at public and personal health, as well as the economic impact from COVID-19.

Emergency Resources for Parents, Kids & Educators

Elmo & Rosita: The Right Way to Sneeze!

Staying Healthy

Learn how implementing simple, healthy routines are key to keeping healthy,

Resources for Kids

Doctor Daniel Game

Learn about all the interesting instruments that doctors use.

George the Germophobe

Join George as he learns the importance of washing his hands.

ABC Scrub With Me!

This fun activity helps kids visualize germs while practicing their alphabet skills.


UNC-TV's 24/7 PBS Kids Channel provides a destination for wholesome, educational, and entertaining content for children ages 2-8.

Resources for Parents

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Learn important ways to speak with your children about COVID-19.

Daniel Tiger for Parents (App)

The app empowers parents and caregivers with songs and videos from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

PBS Daily

Weekday newsletter offers tips and activities you can use to help kids learn and play at home.

How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus

Tips and tricks that you can use to help you and your kids stay stress free.

Resources for Educators

How Soap is Made | KidVision Pre-K

Miss Penny and the KidVision Kids learn about soap and how to make it.

Additional resources for educators

Further Resources & Information

NC 2-1-1 is now a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Travel Updates

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the United States government has declared a public health emergency and put a level 4 travel advisory in effect (as of February 2, 2020) restricting travel to and from China. Most commercial airlines have reduced or suspended routes to and from China and U.S. citizens returning from China may face a two-week quarantine. Some international citizens displaying symptoms may be denied entry into the U.S.

These official resources provide up-to-date travel information in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak: