What is the Coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Because it is a new virus, scientists are learning more each day. Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death.
What are the Key Things to Know?
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal. It typically takes two weeks after you are fully vaccinated for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines will become widely available, in the coming months. Find a COVID-19 vaccine. People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
How does Covid-19 spread?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, including between people who are physically near each other (within about 6 feet). People who are infected but do not show symptoms can also spread the virus to others. Cases of reinfection with COVID-19 have been reported but are rare. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more efficiently than influenza but not as efficiently as measles, which is among the most contagious viruses known to affect people.
Covid-19 enters through our respiratory system where it incubates and moves towards our lungs. Once there is impacts our ability to breathe. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness.
How can I protect myself?
Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others. Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you. Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you. Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
Daily Life & Going Out
In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions. Keep these items on hand when venturing out: a face mask, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible.
Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated. If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself and others.
Get tested 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
Why should I get vaccinated?
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19 and it may help you from passing it on to other people.