2019 Novel Coronavirus 

Frequently asked questions

What is COVID-19?


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
“2019 Novel Coronavirus is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and now with this new virus (named 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."




How does COVID-19 spread?


The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and/or 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. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more efficiently than influenza but not as efficiently as measles, which is among the most contagious viruses known to affect people. For more information about how COVID-19 spreads, visit the How COVID-19 Spreads page on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.




How Do I Know Which COVID-19 Vaccine to Choose?


There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available: 1. The single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine will allow individuals to achieve the maximum level of protection against COVID-19 four weeks after receiving the vaccine. 2. The two-step Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires 2 doses, 21 days apart, and will allow individuals to achieve the maximum level of protection against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. 3. The two-step Moderna vaccine requires 2 doses, 28 days apart, and will allow individuals to achieve the maximum level of protection against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. *NOTE: Individuals must be 18+ to be eligible to receive Janssen (J&J), Pfizer, or Moderna. Youth ages 12-17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and must have parental consent to receive the vaccine and a parent or legal guardian must be present when youth ages 12-17 are receiving the vaccine.




What are the symptoms of COVID-19?


Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe, and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
Seek emergency medical care immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain of pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it is important that you call your doctor before visiting any medical facility, in which the doctor may order a COVID-19 test.




Am I allowed to travel?


Travel guidance in relation to COVID-19 is subject to change frequently. As of June 10, 2021 the Centers for Disease (CDC) travel guidance is as follows: Domestic Travel

  • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. Once fully vaccinated, people can travel safely within the United States
  • Recommendations for unvaccinated people can be found here
International Travel
  • The CDC recommends no international travel until you are fully vaccinated
  • Follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, mask wearing, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination's requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
    • View COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination here
  • During travel, wear a facial covering over your nose and mouth on public transportation such as planes, trains, buses.
    • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel by air into the United States and show your negative test result to the airline before boarding your flight ( current as of July 6, 2021).
  • After travel it is recommended to get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after travel, and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
    • If you are unvaccinated, get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
      • If you do not get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.




How do I get tested for COVID-19?


If you wish to be tested for COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. The Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 Testing Map provides a list of testing sites currently in the state.




When do I need to wear a face covering?


Those who are 2 years old or older should wear a mask in indoor public places or when:

  • Traveling on a plane, bus, train, or other form of public transportation when traveling into, within, or out of the United States
    • Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of conveyence (i.e. ferry boat or top deck of a bus)
Click here for a full guide to masks and facial coverings from the CDC, current as of June 29, 2021.




How can I prevent COVID-19?


HCPH recommends following the same general practices of good hygiene to prevent coronavirus as well as flu, colds and other illnesses:

  • Sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow to keep germs from spreading.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water/use alcohol-based hand sanitizer in between.
  • Frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, faucets/sinks, toilets.
  • Don’t share cups, spoons, forks, etc. with anyone.
  • Don’t make food for anyone if you are sick.
  • Don’t go to work or school if you are sick.
  • Visit a doctor, urgent care or emergency department if you are sick – but call first.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should wear a mask in indoor public places and public transportation (buses, trains, airplanes).
  • Please contact your medical provider with any questions.




What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?


If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away. If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Get rest and stay hydrated.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.
Learn More from the CDC about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19




Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?


COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • Pregnant and recently pregnant people
  • People aged 50 and older
    • People aged 85 and older are the most likely to get severely ill
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
    • People who are immunocompromised
      • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥40)
    • People with diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2)
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease
    • People with dementia or other neurological conditions
    • People with Down Syndrome




What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?


If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, the CDC says you should:

  • Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider
  • Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Have shelf-stable food choices available
  • Know the triggers for your condition (i.e. Asthma) and avoid whenever possible
  • Learn about stress and coping mechanisms, as fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions
  • Do not delay getting emergency care for your medical condition because of COVID-19
  • When possible, keep preventative care and other routine healthcare appointments (i.e. vaccinations and blood pressure checks) with your provider
Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor. More information on how to prepare, what to do if you get sick, and how communities and caregivers can support those at higher risk is available on People with Certain Medical Conditions




If I travel out of state do I have to self-quarantine for 14 days?


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): "The CDC does not require travelers to undergo a mandatory federal quarantine. However, CDC recommends that unvaccinated travelers self-quarantine after travel for 7 days with a negative test, and 10 days if they don't get tested." CDC recommendations for domestic travel for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers can be found here





I Tested Positive for COVID-19. Now What?
When to Quarantine-
 Stay Home if you have been exposed.
 
 

Symptoms:

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms it is crucial that you stay home except to receive medical care. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Preventative measures:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine

  • Stay home when sick

  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick

  • Wash your hands regularly

  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth

  • Wear a mask while in public

 

 

Religious guidance and recommendations - https://bit.ly/3iPqxgs

Testing:

  • COVID-19 testing sites throughout Ohio​ can be found here. HCPH does not offer COVID-19 testing. 

Case Counts:

  • Updated COVID-19 case counts are available on the Ohio COVID-19 dashboard here.

Questions:
  • For any questions regarding COVID-19, please call the Ohio Department of Health (ODH)'s call center at (1-833-427-5634). The call center is open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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July/August2021

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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Getting us through the pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines boost your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus. Together, the coming COVID-19 vaccines and proper prevention measures will offer the best protection from COVID-19.