How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is spread primarily through transmission of respiratory droplets from sneezing, breathing, talking, and coughing. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others, usually within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more. People who are infected but not showing symptoms can also spread the virus to others.
To a lesser extent, COVID-19 can be spread from touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s face.
To reduce the spread, it is important to:
- Wear a mask that completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly
- Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between you and others whenever possible
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid indoor gatherings with large groups not in your immediate family
- Stay home if you feel unwell
When to Quarantine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that COVID-19 positive patients be isolated in either a hospital or home environment (depending on illness severity) until they are feeling better and no longer are at risk of infecting others.
In addition, if you have come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine for a recommended 10 days.
What counts as close contact?
- You were within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
- They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
Please speak with your local health department or provider for additional information.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms typically appear within 2 to 14 days after infection, and include: