Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Everyday Precautions; wash hands, don't touch face, avoid sick people

COVID-19 Updates 

What is COVID-19?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptom Checker

Use the CDC online tool to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.

I Have Symptoms. Now What?

  • If they’re mild: Stay home, rest, and drink fluids. Take acetaminophen to bring down your fever. If you feel worse, call your health care provider.
  • If they’re severe: For severe symptoms (including a fever above 100°), call your health care provider. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
  • If it’s an emergency: Call 911. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:

  • Through the air, by coughing or sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it;
  • Occasionally, fecal contamination.

How can I help protect myself?

Prevention techniques:

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands!
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
  • Wear a mask when going out in public. Get more information on types of masks and how to make your own mask.

Should I cancel my trip to a country with a level 3 travel advisory?

Yes. The CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries with a level 3 travel advisory at this time. For more travel information, visit the PA Department of Health Travelers Page.

How should I talk to my kids about COVID-19?

Tips for caregivers, parents, and teachers during infectious disease outbreaks from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Stay Calm, Stay Home, Stay Safe.