Adapted from the CDC’s Website
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms 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
If you have symptoms other than these, please visit the CDC’s Self-Checker. The CDC and Prevention reports that COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
What can you do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Cover Your Cough or Sneeze
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
Clean and Disinfect Frequently
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using household cleaning sprays and wipes. Commonly touched objects include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Attempt to stay at home as much as possible, avoiding public or crowded places. Especially stay home if you are sick or experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you are out in public, try to avoid contact with frequently touched objects and surfaces as much as possible. For example, push doors open using your forearm instead of your hand.
Keep Your Distance
Avoid close contact with sick people and keep a six foot distance between yourself and others when out in public. Remember, some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
What is COVID-19? Are there other coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are very common and many don’t cause serious illnesses. In fact, the common cold is a type of coronavirus.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus spreads from person to person. According to the CDC, the virus appears to spread:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- Through droplets that can land in the mouth or nose of people nearby, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
What kind of test is there for COVID-19?
Officials at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are now able to complete nasal swab tests for COVID-19. Depending on the testing site and the number of tests being conducted, results are available within 5 days.
There are a limited number of clinics that now do an antibody test. Antibody tests check your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. An antibody test may not show if you have a current COVID-19 infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. To see if you are currently infected, you need a nasal swab test.
Many testing sites are FREE for the uninsured and undocumented. To find a free testing site, click here.
How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
According to the CDC, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Is COVID-19 contagious before a person is even sick?
The CDC states that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). However, it is possible for someone to spread the virus before showing symptoms or be asymptomatic (an individual never feels sick or experiences symptoms).
What does the CDC recommend regarding facemasks?
Facemask recommendations differ depending on individual situations:
Everyone: The CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health recommend that people wear a cloth face mask when in public and in situations where it is difficult to stay 6 feet apart. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. The cloth masks will prevent those who have no symptoms, or who do not have symptoms yet, from spreading the virus. Click here for a DIY facemask tutorial.
Those who are sick: If you have a fever, cough, or body aches, stay home and away from roommates/family members as much as possible. When you do need to leave your room wear a cloth face mask to avoid spreading the virus.
Those caring from someone who is sick: If you are caring for someone who has fever, cough or body aches, limit the amount of contact they have with you and others. The sick person should wear a cloth face mask to avoid spreading the virus. If the sick person is not able to wear a face mask, you should wear a face mask while in the same room with them. IF you have an N95 mask at home, use that, otherwise it is okay to use a cloth face mask as well. Make sure to wash your hands often and every time you leave the room that the sick person is in.
If I become sick, when should I seek medical attention?
If you are sick and symptoms are not considered emergency warning signs, it is important to stay home. If you you feel more comfortable speaking to a doctor, whether in person or on the phone, be sure to communicate with them that you think you may have COVID. Seek medical attention immediately if you you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, bluish lips or face.
How long does it take to recover from COVID-19?
Most people who fall ill recover within two weeks. People with more severe cases generally recover in three to six weeks.
Is there a vaccine to prevent COVID-19?
Multiple vaccines are currently going through clinical trials in the United States. It may take up to a year to fully develop and test a vaccine to ensure it is safe and effective at stopping the spread of the illness. In the meantime, you can make sure you protect yourself from other illnesses, like the flu. The flu vaccine will be available this Fall. Please call 303-730-1313 for more information.
Why do some people with COVID-19 get sicker than others?
As with all viruses, some people are more vulnerable than others. According to data from China, the most vulnerable people include those with heart disease, chronic lung disease (i.e. Asthma, COPD, etc.), diabetes and obesity.