What You Need to Know About Coronavirus & More

Your health matters to the Kern County Library! Below you will find researched information from authentic resources regarding health information, including information about relevant viruses.

Please be aware, the Kern County Library does not provide medical advice, nor are the materials we provide a substitute for a professional medical opinion. The Kern County Library strictly provides information and resources on health topics to help the public gathered from accredited world health organizations.

Health Alert
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?:

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is essential to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease? 

Protection measures for everyone

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the CDC and WHO website, and through the Kern County Public Health website. Covid-19 is still affecting mostly people in China with some outbreaks in other countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
    Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
    Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain viruses. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu, and COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
    Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to direct you to the right health facility quickly. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority, or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
    Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading:

  • Follow the guidance outlined above in (Protection measures for everyone).
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and a slight runny nose, until you recover.
    Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
    Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to direct you to the right health facility quickly. This will also help to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

For more information:

For more up-to-date, real-time information, please visit:

Influenza (Flu)

What is the flu?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Severe outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications. There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

How does the flu spread?

  • Person to Person – People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
  • When Flu Spreads – People with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children and some people with weakened immune systems may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms can begin about 2 days (but can range from 1 to 4 days) after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those people may still spread the virus to others.
  • Period of Contagiousness – You may be able to pass on flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. People with flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins. Some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.
COVID-19 Closure Resources

For information about the Library’s closure, online learning resources, and virtual programming, visit the Closure Page.

Visit the Kern County website for information about County department closures, essential services, and more. Resources below are in no way comprehensive, but are a starting point for Kern County residents. 

Access the Kern County website for information on getting tested for COVID-19.    Testing Sites

Business Resources
COVID-19 Resources for Businesses from the America’s Job Center of Kern

America’s Job Center of Kern Rapid Response Team for Layoffs or Company Closure

Emergency Updates
Plan Ahead by Registering with Smart 911 Kern County

Employment and Job Resources

Unemployment Insurance: 1-800-300-5616

Disability Insurance: 1-800-480-3287

Employment Development Department Services

CalJOBs and Customer Service Desk: 1-800-758-0398

Workforce Services: For local assistance with employer services or job seeker services, call (661) 336-6912 to be assisted by phone. Para asistencia local con los servicios del empleador o services de busqueda de empleo, llame  al (661) 336-6912 para recibir asistencia telefonica. 

Meals and Food Assistance
Kern County Open – Grocery stores and restaurants offering curbside pickup and/or delivery services

CA Meals for Kids App (Apple Store / Android Google Play Store / Microsoft App Store) – Locate meal locations for kids


Practice Healthy Habits

Prevention starts with YOU. Continue your life as usual, but take the same precautions that you would during cold and flu season:

Get your flu shot — it’s not too late. Although the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu, which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.

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. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol.

If you are interested in making hand sanitizer, here is a homemade recipe. 

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay home if you are not feeling well. Don’t wait until you’re very sick.

Have provisions that will last a few days, including water, food, and essential hygiene materials.

Handouts & Resources

These resources are available for you, the public, to download, post and use at your discretion.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Handouts
What You Need to Know About COVID-19 English      Spanish
What to do if you are sick with COVID-19 English      Spanish
Stop the spread of germs English      Spanish
Symptoms of COVID-19 English      Spanish
Influenza - Handouts
Fight The Flu Poster
The Flu: A Guide for Parents English      Spanish
A Strong Defense Against Flu: Get Vaccinated! English      Spanish
What You Should Know About Antiviral Drugs English      Spanish

Public Health Sources

Be aware that rumors can spread rapidly through social media, resulting in an INFODEMIC. Below you can discover and access resources and information from major health organizations that are trusted sources during any health crisis.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
Learn about how illnesses spread, symptoms, prevention & treatment. Discover the latest updates on illnesses in the U.S., the Globe, Risk Assessment, and how the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is taking action. Gather information for your home, healthcare professionals, travel, schools, and businesses. Facebook
World Health Organization
Discover health information from WHO, a United Nations agency dedicated to world public health. Information covered in FAQs includes how viruses spread, symptoms, prevention methods, information regarding treatment, and more. Facebook
California Department of Public Health
Stay informed with up-to-date health information throughout California about from the California Department of Public Health. Facebook
Kern County Public Health Services
Find up-to-date local health information from our Kern County Public Health Services Department. Facebook
National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As the largest biomedical library in the world, the National Library of Medicine can provide access to clinical studies, public health literature, and scholarly work. Facebook
As part of the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus is an online health resource that provides easily accessible consumer health information in English and Spanish.
Library Resources
Gale Health and Wellness

Gale Health and Wellness

Gale Health and Wellness offers 24/7 access to full-text medical journals, magazines, reference works, multimedia, and much more. Perfect for researchers at all levels, this comprehensive consumer health resource provides authoritative information on the full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative medical practices.

What dietary habits are associated with developing adult-onset diabetes? Are antioxidants really effective? What new advances have been made in the treatment of HIV/ AIDS? Gale Health and Wellness is your first-stop resource for answers to these and other health-related questions.

Access with your Library Card 
Gale Onefile Health and Medicine

Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine

Created specifically for students, knowledgeable consumer health researchers, and health care professionals, Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine is the perfect resource for up-to-date information on the complete range of health care topics. With more than 2,500 embargo-free, full-text periodicals, reference books, pamphlets, and hundreds of videos demonstrating medical procedures and live surgeries, Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine ensure that researchers get current, scholarly, comprehensive answers to health-related questions.

Access with your Library Card 


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