So, you read something on Facebook about COVID-19. How can you tell if it’s true or not?
Unless you know who is providing legitimate and trustworthy information, it’s easy to get fooled—and frightened—by rumors and half-truths. And sharing bad information can lead to completely avoidable panic.
That said, here are seven good sources for information. Chances are that unless one of them confirms what you’re reading and hearing, it’s not true. The list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, but these are some gold-standard providers that you can trust.
The Mississippi State Department of Health. The COVID-19 hotline number is 877-978-6453 and is available 24/7 to answer your questions. You can also go to the MSDH website for tons of information about what’s going on in Mississippi, including tips on how to stay healthy during this crisis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the central repository for information and updates on a national level. Like the MSDH website, the CDC website probably has more information than you’ll ever need. The MSDH frequently links to the CDC site.
World Health Organization. If you’re looking for information and data on an international scale, head to the WHO website. The myth busters page is a good place to start to investigate what works and what doesn’t.
Warren County Emergency Management Agency. Director John Elfer and his staff have been incredibly generous with their time to make sure we get information in a timely way. You will frequently see updates from them on our Facebook page, but the best way to know what WCEMA is up to is by liking and following their Facebook page.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. The MEMA website is a good source of statewide COVID-19 information that isn’t necessarily related to health (although they cover some of that, too). That includes disaster declarations that affect business, statewide testing sites (see the interactive map) and tips for building your supply kit.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency. The FEMA website provides information on the federal response to the crisis. It just recently launched a Rumor Control page, which is another good place to start your search on whether what you heard is true or not.
Johns-Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard. Run by the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, this online data dashboard provides frequently updated information on COVID-19 worldwide. The application allows you to zoom in on any area of the world quickly and easily.