What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. It is spread when an infected person breathes out, coughs, or sneezes droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.
The majority of people who contract the disease have mild symptoms but some people can become severely ill. The elderly and/or those with underlying chronic medical conditions have a higher risk. Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions that can go on for several more weeks.
What can you do to help?
It is important for the community to continue to follow public health guidelines including vaccination, wearing masks, limiting gathering in large groups, practice social distancing (at least 6 ft apart), stay home when sick, be diligent with common prevention hygiene, and avoid non-essential travel.
What to do if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19?
See button above for list of symptoms. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe illness, which typically appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
If you feel sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, quarantine immediately and get tested as soon as possible.
- Call your healthcare professional if you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds.
- Do not go directly to a medical facility. If you have mild symptoms that would not have normally caused you to seek medical help at-home treatment should be sufficient, at least initially.
- Limit exposure to other members in the household.
- Do not leave, except to get medical care. Stay in touch with your doctor, be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.