Glossary of Terms

Showing no symptoms of disease. A person infected with the virus can be asymptomatic because they are in an early stage of infection and symptoms have not yet developed (“pre-symptomatic”), or they may not develop any symptoms at all during their infection.

Close Contact
Being within six feet of another person for 15 minutes or more with or without a face covering

The name of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and is short for “Coronavirus Disease 2019.” 

Community transmission/spread
Infections identified in a given geographic area without a history of travel elsewhere and no connection to a known case.

Contact tracing
The process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to prevent onward transmission.

A family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus recently discovered has been named SARS-CoV-2 and it causes COVID-19. 

Drive through testing
Individuals remain in their vehicles, and medical staff in protective gear come to administer the swab test and the swabs are sent to a laboratory for testing.

Droplet transmission/spread
A mode of transmission for a contagious disease that involves relatively large, short-range (less than 6 feet) respiratory droplets produced by sneezing, coughing, or talking. 

Flattening the curve
Slowing a virus’ spread to reduce the peak number of cases and related demands on hospitals and infrastructure 

Terms defined by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, 2020.

Home isolation
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have been directed to stay at home until they are recovered. 

Separating sick people with a contagious disease from those who are not sick. 

Mask/Face Covering
A protective covering made of fiber or gauze and fitting over the nose and mouth to protect against dust or air pollutants, or made of sterile gauze and worn to prevent infection of the wearer.

An epidemic that has spread over several countries/continents, usually affecting a large number of people. 

Physical Distancing
Measures taken to reduce person-to-person contact in a given community, with a goal to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. Measures can include working from home, closing offices and schools, canceling events, and avoiding public transportation. 

Separating and restricting the movement of people exposed (or potentially exposed) to a contagious disease. 

Staying home and away from other people as much as possible after exposure.

Shelter in place
All residents must remain at their place of residence, except to conduct essential activities, essential businesses, and essential government functions. 

Showing symptoms of disease. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, gastrointestinal discomfort, gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea, and new loss of taste or smell.