A Coronavirus Topical guide to AP Style
- AP accepts the coronavirus on first reference without use of COVID-19. Simply “coronavirus” infers that there is only one virus when there are multiple coronaviruses.
Ex: Many things are changing with the spread of the coronavirus.
- Social distancing is two words with no hyphens and no quotation marks
- Stay-at-home order (adj.)
In using multiple words combined as an adjective, hyphens in between the words link them together to form a complete description
Ex: The governor issued a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the pandemic.
- Shelter in place (v.) vs. Shelter-in-place (adj.)
See “stay-at-home order”
- Shut down (v.) vs. shutdown (n.)
- Health care is two words
- Isolation, quarantine
According to the CDC: Isolation is separating sick people from healthy people to prevent spread of disease. For example, people believed to have COVID-19 or to have been exposed to the coronavirus are put in isolation in hospitals or are asked to practice self-isolation.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
- World Health Organization
Spell out the full name of the organization on first reference. WHO is acceptable on second reference.
Three Tips for Communicating about The coronavirus
- Take caution in this time of heightened sensitivity to not scare your audience with bad news, assumptions and/or theories or opinions. All communication should be objective and only share confirmed facts.
- In all crises, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Now is the time to prepare your communications plan for how you’ll respond before the virus gets to your lobby, so that you’re not scrambling around later trying to figure it out.
- There’s an opportunity now to leverage media to inform in a useful, organic and authentic way
- Share stories about your health care heroes on the front-line helping to stop the spread of the virus.
- How are new policies impacting your company recovery plans? How are you going to continue supporting your employees and customers?
- Travel stories: inspire travel when people can travel again.
- Lifestyle stories: there are stories breaking through, but be smart about how you share.