COVID-19 General Information
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and may include:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
WHAT IF I HAVE SOME OF THESE SYMPTOMS?
If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms of COVID-19, stay home except to get medical care or to get tested for COVID-19. Do not leave your home, do not have visitors, and do not go to public places. Stay away from others in your home as much as possible.
If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pain, or other severe symptoms and need immediate medical help, call 911.
COVID-19 TESTING INFORMATION
You should get tested if:
- You are experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19
- You are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19*
- You will be in close contact with members of the vulnerable population
*You are a close contact if:
- You were within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period
- You had direct physical contact with someone with COVID-19 (hugged or kissed them, or shared eating or drinking utensils)
- You provided care to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You have otherwise been told that you are a close contact by a contact tracer or someone from Public Health.
For information on how to schedule a COVID-19 test at one of our community testing sites in Clear Creek County, visit our COVID-19 Testing page.
WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19?
Please self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of your last contact with the person sick with COVID-19. You should stay away from others as much as possible and monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19.
NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS DURING THIS PERIOD DO NOT MEAN YOU CAN END QUARANTINE as it may be too early in the incubation period to identify an infection.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION?
Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others for 14 days in case they become positive for COVID-19. It lasts 14 days because the incubation period for COVID-19 can be between 2-14 days from date of exposure, meaning you may become infectious with COVID-19 up until Day 14.
Isolation keeps someone who is infected with COVID-19 away from others for 10 days to prevent transmission of the virus. It lasts 10 days because this is the typical infectious period for the virus (the amount of time that you could potentially spread the virus to someone else).
Click here for more information on ISOLATION.
Click here for more information on QUARANTINE.
WHO IS AT RISK OF BECOMING SEVERELY ILL FROM COVID-19?
Though anyone who is infected with COVID-19 can experience mild symptoms to severe illness, there are some populations that are at higher risk for becoming severely ill:
- Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80 years.
- People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes.
- People who are immunocompromised
- Older people with chronic medical conditions are at greatest risk
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK AND MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
The virus that causes COVID-19 primarily spreads from person-to-person. The virus is thought to spread mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales while talking, singing, yelling, etc. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. The virus can also be spread by airborne transmission or via contact with contaminated surfaces.
You can protect yourself and others by practicing these actions:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from people that you do not live with.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You may also use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as long as it contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid crowded public spaces.
- Avoid private indoor gatherings of any size with people that you do not live with.
- Get your COVID-19 vaccine when one is made available to you.
- Routinely clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, counters, sink handles, and your phone.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices, like drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep to help your immune system better fight off infections.
- Stay home if you feel sick.
- Get a flu shot.
It is important to do these things at all times even when you feel healthy, as there are some cases of people infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic, meaning they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but are still able to spread the virus to others.
It is also important to be prepared for the event that you have to isolate or quarantine by having a two-week supply of food, medication, and other essential items in your home so that you do not have to leave and potentially expose others to this highly contagious virus.
Click here for more information on COMMUNITY SUPPORT, including food, grocery shopping, housing, and mental health services.
The CDC webpage for People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19 provides additional information on how to plan and prepare for isolation and/or quarantine if you are at high risk.