COVID-19 Pandemic Response Information & Resources

What is coronavirus?

The new coronavirus was first detected in China in late December of 2019. This coronavirus has been named SARS-CoV-2. It causes the respiratory disease COVID-19 (which stands for coronavirus disease 2019).

The new coronavirus has spread to many countries, including the U.S. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild. However, some cases are severe and can lead to death.

People who are older or who have other health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes, appear more at risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. According to the American Cancer Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology people with cancer, especially those in active treatment whose immune systems may be weakened, are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

For the latest information on the coronavirus, visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Am I at risk of getting coronavirus?

Indiana is currently in the middle of a coronavirus outbreak, centered largely around Marion county. You can track the latest numbers in your county on the Indiana State Department of Health’s special coronavirus page. To lower the risk of exposure, the CDC recommends practicing “social distancing” – avoiding gatherings. Furthermore, Indiana is undergoing a “stay at home” order for all non-essential work & activities until at least April 7, 2020.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Common symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms tend to appear 2-14 days after exposure to coronavirus. However, a person may be contagious before symptoms appear.

If you have symptoms and have traveled to an affected country or have been in contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your doctor.

What can I do to protect myself and my family?

To avoid being exposed to coronavirus, the CDC recommends everyone:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after going to the bathroom, before eating, before touching your face, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Ask people who come to your home to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when they arrive.

Susan G. Komen is also recommending healthy women delay breast cancer screenings to avoid spreading the virus and to free up healthcare capacity for dealing with the pandemic. You can click here to see their full recommendation.

If I have breast cancer, is there anything else I should do?

There are no extra precautions for most people who have completed cancer treatment.

However, if you’re on chemotherapy or immunotherapy, or you have metastatic breast cancer, your immune system may be weakened. This means you have an increased risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. The CDC advises you take these extra steps:

  • Avoid crowds as much as possible
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel
  • When out in public, stay away from those who are sick and wash your hands often
  • If there’s an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible

If you have symptoms and have traveled to an affected country or have been in contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your doctor.

If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need a facemask

The CDC recommends facemasks only be used by people who have symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

If you are well, you don’t need a facemask to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Can I travel?

If you have travel plans, check the CDC website for recommendations on postponing or canceling travel.

Coronavirus Resources

The Komen Breast Care Helpline 1 877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) can provide information, psychosocial support and help with coping strategies related to anxiety or concerns during these uncertain times. The service is offered in English and Spanish from 9:00a.m. – 10:00p.m. ET. You can also email the helpline at

Here are additional resources from trusted sources you may find helpful. Keep in mind this is a rapidly evolving situation and some of this information is likely to change.

Real Pink Podcast: Prioritizing safety and health during COVID-19 with Susan Brown

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