COVID-19 Glossary

Keeping up with the terminologies related to COVID-19 can be challenging. UComm has put together some guidelines that address the questions we’re asked most frequently. We also encourage you to use the AP Style Coronavirus Topical Guide. If you have suggestions to add to this glossary, contact Suzanne Stanard

Please adhere to these NC State editorial guidelines: 

  • Reactivation of campus operations instead of “reopening.”
  • Physical distancing instead of “social distancing.” 
  • Face coverings instead of “masks.”

DELTA explains different types of online learning: 

  • Emergency remote instruction: courses offered online in response to a crisis or disaster.
  • Online instruction: a well-planned course delivered fully online.
  • Hybrid or blended instruction: some self-led online learning mixed with live or in-person sessions.

The differences between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting:

  • Cleaning is done with water, a cleaning product, and scrubbing. Cleaning does not kill bacteria, viruses or fungi, which are generally referred to as germs. Cleaning products are used to remove germs, dirt and other organic material by washing them down the drain. 
  • Sanitizing and disinfecting products are chemicals that work by killing germs. These chemicals are also called antimicrobial pesticides. They are regulated by the EPA. Disinfectants kill more germs than sanitizers. In most cases, a cleaning product is used first. Then the surface is either sanitized or disinfected when necessary
  • (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19:

  • A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
  • An antibody test might tell you if you’ve had a past infection. An antibody test might not show if you have a current infection because it can take one to three weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 might provide protection from getting infected with the virus again.
  • (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)