C. Coronavirus General Information

II. COVID-19 General FAQs

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C. Coronavirus General Information


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus. The virus mainly spreads from person to person when they are in close contact (within 6 feet of for at least 15 minutes within a 24 hour period during the infectious period). Many people with COVID-19 will have a mild illness or no symptoms and can recover at home without medical care. However, some people (mainly older adults and people with underlying medical conditions) are more likely to get very sick. Severity of illness may require hospitalization, including intensive care, and may result in death.


Many people with COVID-19 will have a mild illness or no symptoms and can recover at home without medical care. However, some people (mainly older adults and people with underlying medical conditions) are more likely to get very sick, meaning that they may need to be hospitalized, including admission to intensive care. COVID-19 can be severe resulting in extended illness and recovery, long term medical conditions, or death.

Not everyone gets symptoms of COVID-19. If they do, symptoms usually show up 2-14 days after they are exposed. Some symptoms of COVID-19 include: Fever or chills; Cough; Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; Other symptoms: fatigue (feeling tired), muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.


The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person when they are in close contact (within 6 feet of for at least 15 minutes within a 24 hour period during the infectious period). The virus is spread through droplets from the nose and mouth of someone with coronavirus when they cough, sneeze, or raise their voice (like when they shout, chant, or sing) near another person.

Many people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms so they may not know that they can spread the virus to others. Wearing a face covering can help protect others in case someone is infected with COVID-19 and does not have symptoms.


There are now three Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) vaccines that can help protect people against the severe COVID illness or hospitalization from COVID. The best way to prevent severe illness is to get vaccinated and to avoid direct exposure to the virus.

Additional steps:

  • Wear a face covering when you are around people not in your household, especially when indoors.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested and stay home until you find out the results.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and let close contacts know. A close contact is someone you were within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes within a 24 hour period during the infectious period

Through pandemic experience, we now know that COVID-19 is spread through community transmission. There is a higher likelihood of spread if there are high local transmission rates and lower levels of immunity. With ongoing transmission, there is higher likelihood of continued variants of COVID-19- some of which spread more easily from person to person and/or variants that can cause more severe illness.