What Is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world. Symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness.
While there is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19, there are some ways to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus. The best way to protect yourself is to stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others.
Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth in public settings. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Also, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Here are some more helpful resources for our community.
Coronavirus symptoms and risks
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Coronavirus symptoms include:
- feeling like you have a fever
- a new cough
- shortness of breath
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more information about COVID-19 symptoms.
Who is most at risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
Everyone, but some people are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, including:
- people over 65 years old
- people with compromised immune systems
- people with serious chronic medical conditions
Testing and treatment
When should I seek treatment for COVID-19?
Many people are able to recover from COVID-19 at home. Seek treatment if:
- you have difficulty breathing (shortness of breath)
- you feel like symptoms (such as fever and cough) are getting worse rapidly
- you are unable to care for symptoms at home
If you feel any of the above symptoms, call your doctor for a phone evaluation. They will give you guidance on whether or not you should get tested for COVID-19.
What if I feel like I'm coming down with the flu?
The flu is different from a cold, which is gradual. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu will often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Feeling tired
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*Note: It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
If you have flu-like symptoms, please:
- Stay at home to recover
- Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds before touching anyone or anything
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Don’t touch your face
- Germs tend to linger. Disinfect door handles, your phone and other surfaces daily.