On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others, particularly older people and those with underlying medical conditions. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your health and the health of other people. Everyone can follow these recommendations. They are particularly important if you are in an area where people are known to have COVID-19.