Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
Watch for Symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of Breath
Prevention and Treatment
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC's recommendations for using a facemask
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well, wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory disease, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick:
Stay home except to get medical care
- Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
- Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas
- Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
- Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
- Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
- When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed, or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.
Call ahead before visiting your doctor
- Call ahead: If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider's office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g. sharing a room or vehicle) or pets, and before you enter a healthcare provider's office.
- If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with the person who is sick should not stay in the same room with them, or they should wear a facemask if they enter a room with a person who is sick.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Dispose of: Throw used tissues in a lined garbage can
- Wash hands: Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean your hands often
- Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing your food.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Soap and water: Soap and water are the best options if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwanted hands.
Avoid sharing personal household items
- Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
- Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
Clean all "high-touch" surfaces every day
- Clean and disinfect: Practice routine cleaning of high touch surfaces
- High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Disinfect areas with bodily fluids: also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or bodily fluids on them.
- Household cleaners: Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.
Monitor your symptoms
- Seek medical attention: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. difficulty breathing).
- Alert health department: Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.