COVID19-1.jpg

COVID-19

Updates and Resource Center

KEY CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

 

On March 11, 2020 COVID-19 was publicly characterized as a pandemic. Two days later, the President of the United States declared the outbreak a national emergency. Global efforts at this time are focused concurrently on lessening the spread and impact of this virus.

 

Different parts of the U.S. are experiencing different levels of COVID-19 activity. You may find out more information on individual state COVID-19 activity here.

 

On December 11, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, and one week later authorized use of another vaccine manufactured by Moderna. Additional COVID-19 vaccines are under development, including one by Johnson & Johnson. These vaccines are available through your County Health departments, some pharmacies (CVS, Publix, and Walgreens), and some hospitals. Participation in these vaccination programs is controlled by federal and state health organizations, and is currently limited to those age 65 or older, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and health-care workers.  More information on vaccination sites is available here.

How to Protect Yourself

Wear a mask over your nose and mouth

  • Masks help prevent you from getting or spreading the virus.

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

    • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

  • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

Stay 6 feet away from others

 

Avoid crowds

  • Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters put you at higher risk for COVID-19.

 

Avoid poorly ventilated spaces

  • Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.

 

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • It’s especially important to wash:

    • Before eating or preparing food

    • Before touching your face

    • After using the restroom

    • After leaving a public place

    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

    • After handling your mask

    • After changing a diaper

    • After caring for someone sick

    • After touching animals or pets

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.

  • Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

Monitor Your Health Daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.

    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

 

Find out more ways to stay protected here.

Symptoms

Watch for symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills

  • 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

  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

You may find out more here.

What To Do If You Are Sick

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.

  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.

  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.

  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

 

Separate yourself from other people

As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask.

Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.

  • Additional guidance is available for those living in close quarters and shared housing.

  • See COVID-19 and Animals if you have questions about pets.

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, someone from the health department may call you. Answer the call to slow the spread.

 

Monitor your symptoms

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or other symptoms.

  • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

When to seek emergency medical attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion

  • Inability to wake or stay awake

  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

 

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • Call ahead. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.

  • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

If you are sick, wear a mask over your nose and mouth

  • You should wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).

  • You don’t need to wear the mask if you are alone. If you can’t put on a mask (because of trouble breathing, for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.

  • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2 years, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is not able to remove the mask without help.

Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical grade facemasks are reserved for healthcare workers and some first responders.

 

Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

  • Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.

  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 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 your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.

  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not 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 are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 

Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.

  • Wash these items thoroughly after using them with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom; wear disposable gloves. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but you should clean your bedroom and bathroom, if possible.

  • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and disposable gloves prior to cleaning. They should wait as long as possible after the person who is sick has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.

  • High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

  • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.

  • Use household cleaners and disinfectants. Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.

    • Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. Many also recommend precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

 

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.

More information found here for what to do.

Travel Notices

Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. If you do decide to travel, be sure to take these steps during your trip to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

For information on travel notices click here.