FEMA is trying to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the federal response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis, particularly with millions of people shut in with access to social media.
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: FEMA does not have military assets. 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: Freight flows are not disrupted, but stores need time to restock. Consumer demand has recently been exceptionally high – especially for grocery, household cleaning, and some healthcare products. It is important to remember that many families may be unable to buy a supply of food and water for weeks in advance.
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 (as of March 21) is a scammer. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19 related scams on their website, https://www.ftc.gov/.
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 and Prevention (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe and may have different complications for each individual. The CDC has a list of COVID-19 symptoms you may experience; see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.
Last updated March 21, 2020. For more up-to-date information, visit https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control.