The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December 2019 and quickly became a pandemic, as recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes humans to develop Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is a novel infectious disease that has influenza-like symptoms, including fever, dry cough, and fatigue. However, some people exposed to the virus are asymptomatic. Coronavirus complications include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, while the disease’s fatality risk is estimated to be between 0.25 percent and 3 percent. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), risk for severe illness is much greater for older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
Treatment strategies for COVID-19 include symptom alleviation and supportive therapy, as the FDA has not yet approved any antiviral treatments for the disease. Government efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include increased funding for research and COVID-19 testing, regulatory flexibility to improve access to testing and treatment, travel restrictions, quarantines, and curfews, alongside postponing or canceling events that would have high numbers of attendees. Individual efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include heightened sensitivity to personal hygiene, social distancing, and voluntary quarantine for people suspected to have been exposed to the virus, as the FDA has not yet approved a vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection.
State and federal governments continue to introduce measures to slow or prevent the spread of coronavirus; increase access to preventive care, testing, treatment, and telehealth services; reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients; and provide additional resources to people affected by COVID-19. Use the map below to explore legislation introduced to address the coronavirus outbreak.