COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- Similar to many viral respiratory illnesses, the symptoms of the virus mimic the common cold and include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
- Symptoms may appear between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
- Also be mindful that we are in flu season and pollen counts are high, so there are many other causes for upper respiratory symptoms that are much more common than COVID-19.
How does COVID-19 spread?
As with any viral respiratory illness, COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small respiratory droplets, which are dispersed when a person with the virus coughs or sneezes and are then inhaled by another person. These droplets can also land on objects and surfaces around the infected person. Other people then catch the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
How do I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent the spread of germs is proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Below are some other tips:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and perform hand hygiene immediately.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
How do I practice social distancing?
The CDC defines social distancing as it applies to COVID-19 as "remaining out of congregrate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible." That means no hugs, no handshakes.
It's particularly important—and perhaps obvious—to maintain that same 6-foot distance from anyone who is demonstrating signs of illness, including coughing, sneezing, or fever.
Along with physical distance, proper hand-washing is important for protecting not only yourself but others around you—because the virus can be spread even without symptoms.