Skip to main content


From the Director's Desk: COVID-19 - Preventive measures could save lives

Coronavirus disease 2019, better known as COVID-19, is defined as a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus can spread between people who are within about six feet of each other or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Those who have contracted the virus report experiencing mild to severe symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, bluish lips or face and difficulty breathing. If you develop any of these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider for medical advice and guidance.

Because the virus seems to spread so easily, it’s important to take preventive measures to help protect yourself and your family.

To help protect yourself, you should:

  • Clean your hands often
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If there’s no soap and water on hand, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to cover all surfaces of your hand and rub them together until they feel dry
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community

To protect others, it’s important to:

  • Stay home if you’re sick, except to get medical care
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, throw used tissue in the trash and wash your hands immediately afterward with soap and water; (use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t readily available)
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Do not wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick. Facemasks may be in short supply and should be saved for caregivers
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and clean surfaces that are dirty

If you are an older adult or live with a chronic medical condition like diabetes, lung or heart disease, you’re at greater risk of getting very sick from the virus, so it’s very important to take these steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19.

For those who have possible or confirmed COVID-19, you can help manage your health care at home and prevent the spread of the virus by following these steps.

Find more information about COVID-19 here. If you have any questions about the virus, contact the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-803-7847. After normal business hours, urgent calls needing immediate response should call 501-661-2136.

For fact sheets and other information to share with your community or organization, click here.

Thanks for stopping by the Director’s Corner, where your health is our priority!