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A Guide to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) for Public Libraries

Posted by on February 27th, 2020 Posted in: Blog, Public Libraries
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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) badge from the CDC“The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which used to be called the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is a new type of coronavirus. It causes respiratory illness in people. It was first identified in Wuhan, China.

COVID-19 can spread from person to person. This usually happens through respiratory droplets – when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes, and you breathe it in. Most often, you need to be close to the person (within 6 feet) for it to spread this way. It might be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. But this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. ” MedlinePlus

Online Resources


Coronavirus Infections Also called: COVID-19 from MedlinePlus

Coronavirus Testing from MedlinePlus


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) summary from The National Library of Medicine. NLM is operated by the United States federal government, is the world’s largest medical library.

Cornaviruses including COVID-19 from the National Institute on Allergies and Infectious Diseases. NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. NIAID is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NIH – Coronavirus The national Institutes of Health’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Situation Summary page. An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIH is the largest biomedical research agency in the world.

Coronavirus and “Alternative” Treatments The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds and conducts research to help answer important scientific and public health questions about complementary health approaches. NCCIH works to determine what is promising, what helps and why, what doesn’t work, and what is safe. (Added 3/2/2020)

CDC logo

CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information and updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), national public health institute of the United States.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary The situation summary page regarding COVID-19, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC – Guidance for Employers Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Printable handwashing posters in multiple languages  (Added 3/2/2020)

Information on COVID-19 and Pregnant Women and Children(Added 3/9/2020)

Stop the Spread of Germs poster printable PDF (Added 3/9/2020)

logo for the World Health Organization

Coronavirus Health topic page from the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations that focuses on world public health.

Getting your workplace ready for #CORVID19. Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephone, keyboards) should be wiped with disinfectant regularly. World Health Organization logo.


NAACHO – Directory of Local Health Departments National Association of County Health Officials

Additional Resources

A Guide: How To Prepare Your Home For Coronavirus NPR LifeKit

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus – Kids, this comic is for you. It’s based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China. (Added 2/28/2020)

Information in Spanish

COVID-19 previamente 2019- Novel Coronavirus: Información salud al consumidor by Rossana Isabel Tecnologías-Emergentes, health sciences librarian at the University of Puerto Ricos’s Medical Sciences Campus. (Added 3/2/2020)

Infecciones por coronavirus Otros nombres: COVID-19 MedlinePlus (Added 3/2/2020)

News Resources


Maps & Visualizations


Library Journal Suggested Titles

American Libraries Magazine Suggested Titles

Image of the author ABOUT Bobbi Newman
Bobbi's professional background includes work in public libraries. She currently serves as a member of the Office of Information Technology Policy (OITP) American Library Association (ALA) Advisory Committee. In the past, she has served as an ALA-Councilor-At-Large and on a variety ALA committees. In 2011 she was named a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal. She divides her time between her dog, reading fantasy and nonfiction, playing video games, and gardening.

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM012346 with The University of Iowa.

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