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COVID-19 Information & Resources

What is 2019 novel coronavirus?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified at the end of 2019 during an investigation into an outbreak of respiratory illness and pneumonia in Wuhan, China.

What are the COVID-19 Symptoms?

The most common COVID-19 symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure. 

  • New or worsening fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle aches
  • Inability to smell or taste

If you are experiencing symptoms

  • If you have life-threatening symptoms like difficulty breathing or chest pressure, please call 911. 
  • If you are experiencing common symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever or cough, please call your primary health care provider for guidance. If you do not have a PCP, you can also visit Express Care in Dover or Lee. 
  • Your provider will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. 

Learn more about what to do if you are sick from the CDC

Use this PDF resource for help identifying symptoms of coronavirus, the cold and flu. 

How do people catch coronavirus?

The virus is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread when someone touches a surface, such as a door handle, which has been contaminated with respiratory droplets or secretions from an individual with Covid-19 infection, and thereafter touches his/her face or mouth.

Who is at greatest risk for developing severe symptoms?

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These medical conditions include asthma, lung disease, serious heart conditions, diabetes, and HIV, among others. 

What is the difference between coronavirus and viruses that cause the common cold?

There are many types of human coronavirus, including some that cause mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illnesses.

Most people get infected with one or more of these common coronaviruses at some point in their lives. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is NOT the same as common coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new coronavirus which has arisen from an animal reservoir that had not been previously identified. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus infection.

If I am diagnosed with COVID-19, how do I prevent spreading it to others in my home or in your home or residential community?

If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have been cleared to return home, here are tips to prevent spreading it to other household members while you are self-isolating. 

  • Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Wear a facemask.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces such as counters, railings, doorknobs, and phones, every day.
  • Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention quickly if your symptoms worsen.
  • Remain under home isolation until instructed by your doctor.

What should community members do to stay safe?

Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses:

  • Wear a cloth face covering when out in public and not able to maintain 6-foot distancing from others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cough into your arm or the inside bend in your elbow.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Should I wear a mask when I go out in public?

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Visit the CDC's Use of Cloth Face Coverings page for more information.  

Protect Yourself from Coronavirus


The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as colds or the flu is through everyday preventive actions.

  • Avoid being within 6 feet (close contact) of a person who is sick.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing drinks or other utensils or objects that may transmit saliva.
  • Stay home and avoid public places when you are sick (social distancing)
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with tissues or your elbow - do not cough into your hands. If you use a tissue to cover your mouth, throw the dirty tissue away immediately.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes
  • 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 rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers


Proper handwashing is a safe and effective practice to prevent the spread of illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend five steps for proper handwashing

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website

For information, specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings

Printable Resource (English) Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands.

Printable Resource (Español) ¡Detenga los microbios! Lávese las manos.

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