WASHINGTON -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pushing back against unfounded rumors popping up as people deal with the growing number of coronavirus cases in their neighborhoods.
The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak is forcing businesses to close and people to shelter in place. More than 300,000 people have tested positive for the disease around the world, with the majority of cases being in China, Italy and the United States.
To push back against rumors created to invoke panic or scam people out of their hard-earned money, FEMA recently debunked several popular coronavirus myths.
- Myth: There Is A National Lockdown And The Entire Country Will Be Quarantined For Two Weeks.
- Fact: There is no national lockdown. As with all information online or shared via social media, it is important to verify the source of the information. You can find the latest information as well as links to additional resources at www.coronavirus.gov.
- Myth: FEMA Has Deployed Military Assets.
- Fact: No, FEMA does not have military assets. Like all emergencies, response is most successful when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. Each state's governor is responsible for response activities in their state, to include establishing curfews, deploying the National Guard if needed and any other restrictions or safety measures they deem necessary for the health and welfare of their citizens.
- Myth: I Need To Stockpile As Many Groceries And Supplies As I Can.
- Fact: Please only buy what your family needs for a week. It is important to remember that many families may be unable to buy a supply of food and water for weeks in advance. Consumer demand has recently been exceptionally high - especially for grocery, household cleaning, and some healthcare products. Freight flows are not disrupted, but stores need time to restock.
- Myth: I Heard That The Government Is Sending $1,000 Checks. How Do I Sign Up?
- Fact: The U.S. Government is not mailing checks in response to COVID-19 at this time. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. It's important that you only trust information coming from official sources. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19 related scams on their website.
- Myth: Only Those Over 60 Years Of Age And Those With Existing Health Problems Are At Risk From The Coronavirus.
- Fact: It is an unfortunate rumor that only people over 60 years of age are at risk of getting this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe with and may have different complications for each individual. The CDC has a list of COVID-19 symptoms you may experience. Please continue to follow the official information from the CDC.
The CDC also recently released some facts about COVID-19 to help quell any rumors about the disease itself. You can find that list here.