The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic poses a significant and deadly threat to the world, and particularly, the African American community. The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has developed this page to provide credible information to our Brothers, their families, and the public to help prevent or slow the spread of the infection during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Currently, major urban cities are experiencing disproportionate African American death tolls. Health disparities and access to quality health care play a key role. These health disparities have increased the likelihood of death for those infected with the coronavirus. In addition, many African Americans face increased exposure to the virus since many essential workers holding down jobs like driving buses, childcare, at airports, fast food and other restaurants, or in grocery stores are Black.

What is the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from common cold or cough to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is the most recently discovered coronavirus disease and the current cause of the worldwide pandemic.

*Source: World Health Organization

Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

It is important to watch for symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Reported illnesses have ranged from mild, severe, or no symptoms at all. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, these include fever, cough, shortness of breath. Some emergency warning signs for COVID-19 include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips, or face. If you develop any of these emergency warning signs, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms and emergency warning signs are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider immediately regarding any other symptoms or concerns.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Preventative Steps & Measures

Preventative methods for COVID-19 are as follows:

  • Stay informed on the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak with credible websites such as WHO and CDC.
  • Wear protective gloves and masks to help reduce infection and spread.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Maintain at least a 6-feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Practice good hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you sneeze or cough.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell, and seek additional medical attention if symptoms worsen.
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities and local areas) and if possible, avoid frequent travel.

*Source: World Health Organization

What To Do If You Are Sick?

If you are having symptoms or think you are sick, please exercise the following:

  • Stay home: people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 can recover at home. Do not visit public areas, do not leave your home unless to receive medical care.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor.
  • Avoid public transportation, taxis, and ride sharing.
  • Wear a facemask. This includes when you are around other people and before entering a healthcare provider’s office.
  • Limit contact with pets and animals.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect high-tough surfaces.
  • Socially distance yourself from others.
  • Seek medical attention but call first.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Who Are At Higher Risk?

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from the illness, but this does not exclude other people at lower risk from contracting COVID-19 or getting severely sick from it. Higher risk people include African Americans due to health disparities and lack of access to quality health care as well as older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


  • COVID-19 CAN be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates. It in fact can be transmitted in all areas.
  • Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the coronavirus.
  • Taking a hot bath DOES NOT prevent the new coronavirus.
  • The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites. It is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
  • Hand dryers ARE NOT an effective method in killing the coronavirus.
  • UV lamps SHOULD NOT be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
  • Thermal scanners ARE effective in detecting whether a person has a fever or a higher than normal body temperature. They CANNOT detect whether a person has the coronavirus.
  • Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body WILL NOT kill viruses that have already entered your body.
  • Vaccines against pneumonia such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, so NOT provide protection against the new coronavirus.
  • Regularly rinsing your nose with saline WILL NOT prevent infection from the coronavirus.
  • Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties, but it does NOT prevent infection from the coronavirus.
  • People of all ages can be infected by the coronavirus, NOT just older people.
  • Antibiotics DO NOT work against the coronavirus. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria NOT viruses.
  • There is currently NO specific medicine recommended as effective to prevent or treat the coronavirus.

*Source: World Health Organization



A Deadly Combination: African-American Health Disparities and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Keeping Sane during the COVID Crisis: An Address to the Brotherhood



COVID-19 Letter

Methodologies to Prevent Unnecessary COVID-19 Exposure for Black People

COVID-19 impact on ONECA

COVID-19 National Fraternal Taskforce Letter To U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee


Letter to SML – Mitch McConnell