FAQ

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people can become severely ill. Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience more than four weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Older people and those who have certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and effective.

How does the virus spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

What is the source of the virus?

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and now with the virus that causes COVID-19. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 can be found on the CDC's Situational Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

  1. What do I do if I feel sick?
  2. If I am pregnant, can I get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Quarantine Isolation Guidance Updated December 28 2021

This guidance does NOT apply to Health Care Workers. See Health Care Personnel: isolation and quarantine guidelines.