Q: What is novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. COVID-19 causes illnesses that can range from mild to more severe.

Q: Who is at high risk of get seriously ill from COVID-19?
A: According to the CDC, people at increased risk include:

  • Older adults
  • People of all ages with certain underlying medical conditions
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
    • Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
    • Obesity and severe obesity
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle Cell Disease
    • Smoking
    • Type 2 diabetes

Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
For more information visit the CDC’s website.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: Most patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms will appear 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
A: According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.
These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
It is possible that COVID-19 may spread through the droplets and airborne particles that are formed when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.

Q: How do I reduce my risk of getting COVID-19?
A: The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection is to get fully vaccinated with an approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine and to take precautions to avoid exposure to the virus:

  • Follow social distancing protocols.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often  with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.

Q: What do I do if I have symptoms?
A: If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. If you are ill, stay home and away from others (isolate) and find a COVID-19 test to confirm a diagnosis. Contact your health care provider to find out if you should seek treatment or convalesce at home. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms and when they first appeared. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately.

Q: What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
A: If you are sick with COVID-19 or have tested positive and are asymptomatic, it is important to isolate yourself from others to avoid spread. This means staying at home, not going to work or school in person, or running errands. If possible, avoid contact with others in your household. Stay, home, isolated for at least 5 days after symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever (without using fever-reducing medications). If your symptoms escalate, including trouble breathing, contact your health care provider or seek emergency care right away.

Q: What should I do if I’ve been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19?
A: If you were exposed and are not fully vaccinated, quarantine at home and stay away from others. Get tested 5-7 days after exposure. After a negative test, you can end quarantine. If you develop symptoms, isolate.

If you are fully vaccinated, you do no need to quarantine unless you develop symptoms. Get tested 3-5 days after exposure. If you test positive or develop symptoms, isolate.  

Q: If I have recovered from COVID-19, do I need a vaccine?
A: Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called “natural immunity,” varies from person to person.  It is rare for someone who has had COVID-19 to get infected again. It also is uncommon for people who do get COVID-19 again to get it within 90 days of when they recovered from their first infection.  We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work.

Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are working to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Q: What should I do if I don’t have insurance or a health care provider?
A: Vaccine are available free of charge to all U.S. residents. Medically uninsured patients seeking care are encouraged to visit a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in their community. FQHCs are defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration as providing comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations. To find an FQHC near you, please visit

Q: Is it safe to go out, frequent businesses and travel now?
A: According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can:

  • Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic.
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel and from self-quarantine after travel.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.

To reduce the risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) including the Delta variant, and potentially spreading it to others, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
    • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of community transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure or until a negative test result.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Q: What is the risk of my child contracting COVID-19?
A: Children can become infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 than adults and most have mild symptoms. However, some children become very ill, requiring hospitalization, experience inflammatory syndromes or long-term complications. Nearly 700 U.S. children have died as a result of COVID-19 since this pandemic began. Children with underlying illnesses and infants under the age of one year old are at risk of severe infection. Children aged 5 and older are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, providing protection form this disease..


Q: Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
A: Information is available through the following resources:

CDC COVID-19 what you need to know – frequently asked questions.


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