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COVID-19: the facts

Over the past year we’ve heard a lot about COVID-19. We’ve spoken to the experts to find out what exactly it is, how people catch it, and how we can stop it spreading.

Last reviewed: 30 November 16:30

What is COVID-19?

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new virus. It’s a member of the coronavirus family. Coronaviruses cause respiratory infections, including the common cold. Previous new viruses in this family include MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome SARS-CoV1).

SARS-CoV-2 causes a disease called COVID-19 (or coronavirus).


What are the signs?


How does COVID-19 affect different people?


A word about words


How can we prevent the virus from spreading?


What is a coronavirus test and what does it show?

There are different types of coronavirus tests: a sample can be collected with a swab or from salvia (spit). They can be analysed with different scientific techniques.

These tests show if the person who had the test had COVID-19 when they were tested. People get a positive or negative result. The tests don’t tell people if they’ve had COVID-19 before the test. A negative result does not protect people from catching it in the future.


Inform, empower and mobilise young people with these activities around the risks and realities of living in a pandemic, and what they can do to help others during this time.

COVID-19 catchphrase

Work together to look at the whole picture and discover why it’s important to have all the facts about coronavirus.

Suitable for: Beavers and Cubs | Takes: 20 minutes

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Figure out the facts

Get quizzical and test your coronavirus knowledge with your friends.

Suitable for: Beavers and Cubs | Takes: 10 minutes

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COVID-19, what does it mean?

Sort the facts from fiction with this coronavirus quiz.

Suitable for: Scouts and Explorers | Takes: 25 minutes

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Move over mythbusters

When it comes to coronavirus, it can be tricky to spot the difference between truth and misinformation. Can you learn to be a fact finder?

Suitable for: Scouts and Explorers | Takes: 30 minutes

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Keep apart, but do it with heart

Coronavirus means we have to stay further apart than normal. Find out why, and come up with new ways to live your values.

Suitable for: Beavers and Cubs | Takes: 60 minutes

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Combat the negative impact

Taking action to slow coronavirus can be tough. Work together to help make an action a little easier.

Suitable for: Scouts and Explorers | Takes: 1 hour

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Testing timeline

Work together to work out what happens when you take a COVID-19 test.

Suitable for: Beavers and Cubs | Takes: 25 minutes

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Testing doesn’t have to be trying

Coronavirus tests can sound tricky, but by focusing on the facts we can all take action to boost our own and others’ wellbeing.

Suitable for: Scouts and Explorers | Takes: 45 minutes

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