Fears regarding the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has led to a lot of rumors circulating online.
There are so many claims popping up each day that VERIFY will now compile a week’s worth of coronavirus fact-checks every Friday. That way, you can easily find every fact-check the team has made about the coronavirus every week.
Here are the fact-checks for the week of March 20:
You can test positive for COVID-19 again after you recover
The World Health Organization has confirmed a person can test positive for COVID-19 after a person clinically recovers, but they’re not sure why that is yet.
It could be an error in the testing or it could be because the virus comes back into a person’s system, the WHO needs more data to know for sure.
Only a small portion of patients are testing positive after recovering, and most of these patients are testing positive without getting symptoms again.
It’s possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time
A spokesperson for the WHO told VERIFY, “It is certainly possible for someone to have more than one virus or other microbial infection at the same time.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention separately confirmed that it is possible to get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
The WHO is researching what that does to the body and how the virus interacts with other illnesses. If you have the flu, practice the same preventative measures to keep yourself safe from the coronavirus as you would normally.
The Stafford Act isn’t being used to invoke a national quarantine
Contrary to what some text messages were saying, the Stafford Act won’t be used to usher in a national quarantine. In fact, it was used last week. The Stafford Act is invoked regularly to declare major disasters and get disaster relief. The text of the act itself makes no mention of quarantines, lockdowns or shutdowns.
Multiple officials, including the National Security Council, have spoken out publicly and denied that the president was planning to use the act to call for a national quarantine.
Hand-dryers aren’t killing or spreading the coronavirus
A pair of rumors contradicted each other: One said hand-dryers could kill the coronavirus and the other said it could spread the coronavirus. Neither is true.
The WHO addressed the first claim on their Myth Busters page and said you should protect yourself by washing your hands. A CDC spokesperson addressed the second claim. They said, “We have no evidence of hand dryers spreading the virus.”
Pneumonia vaccines will not protect you from COVID-19
While COVID-19 can cause pneumonia in some severe cases, the pneumonia vaccine doesn’t protect you from it.
The WHO’s Myth Busters page addresses this specific claim and says, “The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine.” A vaccine to protect against the coronavirus is still being developed.
NIH study finds coronavirus can survive for days on some surfaces in perfect lab setting
An NIH study found that the new coronavirus could survive in air for less than three hours, on cardboard for less than a day and on plastic for less than three days. However, this was studied in a perfect lab setting where temperature and humidity were controlled. In the real world, other factors could reduce how long the virus could survive on surfaces and in the air.
Spectrum, Comcast and Cox are all offering free home internet to families with students
Spectrum and Comcast are offering free internet service to new customers with students for 60 days and Cox is offering free internet service to new customers with students for 30 days. These are limited time offers designed to help low-income families who now have students taking online classes while schools close during the pandemic.