COVID-19, or coronavirus disease 2019, is a serious respiratory illness that can be caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). More severe emergency symptoms associated with COVID-19 can include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and bluish lips or face. Symptoms of concern in children can also include bright red rash, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Contact your medical provider immediately if you or your loved ones are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Steps you can take to protect yourself and others include staying at home except for essential activities, washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and wearing a cloth face covering when leaving home. Click here for more information on what you can do to protect yourself and others, and to find out where you may be able to access testing options in your area.
Risk of being affected by the novel coronavirus depends on many factors. These factors include:
- Exposure, or how often you are in contact with others who may be contagious
- Vulnerability, such as preexisting environmental or health conditions that increase risk of being affected
- Protective factors, such as resources, behaviors, policies and social supports that can be used to better protect health
Those who may be at greater risk of being exposed to the novel coronavirus include people living or working in places where they may come into frequent close contact with infected individuals and/or are not able to consistently practice physical distancing, such as:
- Health care workers and other essential workers, such as janitors, bus drivers, cashiers, farmworkers, grocery store clerks, maintenance workers and service workers
- People living in nursing homes, prisons, homeless encampments, shelters, and other congregated living situations