Coronavirus: What does "community spread" mean?

Posted at 7:37 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 08:38:54-04

Waco announced their first "community spread" case of coronavirus on March 19, but what does that mean and how can it be stopped?

According to the CDC, community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

A community spread case had no recent travel history or contact with another person known to be infected, indicating that the virus may have spread within the local community.

The term has been more widely used since late February after a person in California tested positive for the virus but hadn’t traveled recently.

How do you stop community spread?

Health experts have said social distancing, the practice of avoiding public areas and crowded places, and of staying several feet apart from other people, can stop or slow community spread.

In response to COVID-19, Gov. Abbott announced an executive order that will limit social gatherings to 10 people, prohibit eating and drinking at restaurants and bars while still allowing takeout, close gyms, ban people from visiting nursing homes except for critical care and temporarily close schools.

Health experts also urge other precautions, including frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequently cleaning household and other high-touch surfaces can also play a part in combating community spread.