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COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 FAQs

What is COVID-19?

  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
  • It is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.  Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV and now with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why the concern?

  • COVID-19 is a new virus that has never been seen before that has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia
  • It is unknown how many people will get sick or how severe the illness will be
  • A person may be infectious before becoming symptomatic (showing symptoms) and can pass the virus to others without knowing
  • There is potential for the U.S. healthcare system to become overwhelmed with patients
    • There may not be enough medical supplies/facilities to care for everyone infected

What are the symptoms?

  • People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. 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
      This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
  • If any of the below emergency warning signs for COVID-19 are developed, get medical attention immediately:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or 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
      *This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.
  • COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
    • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
    • Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
    • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.

Who does it affect?

  • Anyone and everyone!
  • It is important to remember that stigma and discrimination occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality. COVID-19 does not target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
  • Some people however are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19:
    • Older adults
    • Those with serious medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes and lung diseases

How do you prevent the spread of COVID-19?

  • Get vaccinated as soon as you can. You can schedule your vaccine at www.dhd10.org/schedule.
  • Wear a mask while in indoor places and where cases of COVID-19 are high, especially if you are not fully vaccinated.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
    • Restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters are high-risk locations you may want to consider avoiding.
    • If indoors, open the windows to allow fresh air in if you can.
  • Wash your hands often. Scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol between hand washing or if soap and water aren’t available
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw tissue away and wash hands immediately
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly
    • Use 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water
    • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
  • Monitor your health daily for symptoms.

Is the vaccine safe?

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
  • CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
    • There are currently three approved and authorized vaccines available:
      • Pfizer-BioNTech
      • Moderna
        • A 2-dose vaccine available to anyone age 18 and older
        • An additional dose is recommended for moderately to severely immunocompromised people
          Given 4 weeks after second shot
        • A booster shot is recommended at least SIX MONTHS or more from their initial series:
          • 65 years and older
          • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
          • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
          • Age 18+ who work or live-in high-risk settings
      • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
        • A 1-dose vaccine available for anyone age 18 and older
        • A booster dose is recommended for individuals 18 years and older who received a single dose of J&J (Janssen) at least TWO MONTHS after their first dose.
  • Common side effects after your first dose include :
    • Arm pain, redness, and swelling
    • Tiredness
    • Headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Nausea
  • If you had a severe or immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Learn about getting a different type of vaccine after an allergic reaction.
  • If you received a second shot:
    • Side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.
  • If you received a booster shot:
    • Side effects people report after getting a booster shot are similar to side effects after the 2-shot series. The most common side effects after a booster shot are fatigue and pain at the injection site and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. Like the 2-shot primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

How many people have COVID-19?

What should you do if you have symptoms?

  • STAY HOME and separate yourself from people and pets in your home.
  • Call your healthcare provider immediately to discuss your symptoms.
    • If you do not have a healthcare provider, you may call your local urgent care.
  • Get tested. Your healthcare provider or local pharmacies offer testing. You can also look for a testing site using the Testing Site Look Up Tool.
    • While waiting on test results, stay away from others, including those living in your household.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you are around other people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday.

What if I was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

  • First, what is a close contact? A close contact to COVID-19 is someone that
    • Was within 6 feet of someone contagious with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more (cumulative), with or without masks or protective barriers. AND/OR
    • Possibly came in contact with a contagious person’s airway droplets, such as those made by coughing, sneezing, or singing. AND/OR
    • May have had direct physical contact with a person who was contagious with COVID-19 such as hugging, kissing, or contact during high-impact sports or shared eating or drinking utensils with a person who has COVID-19.
  • A person with COVID-19 is considered contagious
    • Starting 2 days before their symptoms started until 10 days after their symptoms started
    • If they never had symptoms but tested positive, they are considered contagious starting 2 days before their COVID-19 test was performed until 10 days after their test was performed
  • If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (AND you have NOT been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have previously been infected with COVID-19) follow these quarantine instructions:
    • We recommend the general public quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with a contagious person. This option is the safest for everyone. However, your quarantine can end after 10 days if:
      • You do not develop symptoms within 10 days AND
      • You continue to monitor your symptoms for 14 days To be clear, there is still a risk of developing an illness between days 11-14; it is simply lower than the first 10 days.
    • During quarantine:
      • Stay home except to get medical care.
      • Wear a mask or face covering if you must leave your home.
      • Consider getting tested 3 to 5 days after you were exposed to see if you are infected but not yet showing symptoms.
      • Get tested if you develop symptoms.
      • Remember: you cannot test your way out of quarantine. It can take up to 14 days after exposure for an infection to develop, so you could end up testing positive later on.
  • If you’re a “close contact” of someone with COVID-19 AND you HAVE been vaccinated against COVID-19, follow these instructions:
    • Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet ALL of the following criteria:
      • They are fully vaccinated, meaning it has been at least 14 days since receiving the final dose in the vaccine series (2 doses of Moderna; 2 doses of Pfizer; or 1 dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) AND
      • They have not developed any symptoms since their exposure to someone with COVID-19.
    • However, fully vaccinated close contacts should:
      • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until they test negative.
      • Get tested 3-5 days after close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
      • Get tested and isolate immediately if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you’re a “close contact” of someone with COVID-19 AND you HAVE tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, follow these instructions:
    • Someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test (PCR or antigen test) within the past 90 days and has fully recovered and still does not have any COVID-19 symptoms does not need to quarantine. However, they should:
      • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure.
      • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate immediately if symptoms develop.
      • Consult with a healthcare professional for testing recommendations if new symptoms develop.
  • COVID-19 Testing Information
  • Find testing locations
  • 3 Key Steps to Take While Waiting for Your COVID-19 Test Result

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • If you’ve tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19:
    • Stay separated from others right away. This is called isolation.
      • Stay away from everyone else in your household (stay in a separate room, use a separate bathroom, if possible, etc.).
      • Stay home except to get medical care.
      • Tell your employer or school you have COVID-19 and you can’t go to work or school.
  • Tell your close contacts so they can quarantine themselves.
    • A close contact to you is someone that
      • Was within 6 feet of you when you were contagious for a total of 15 minutes or more (cumulative), with or without masks or protective barriers.
      • Possibly came in contact with your airway droplets, such as those made by coughing, sneezing or singing, while you were contagious.
      • May have had direct physical contact with you when you were contagious such as hugging, kissing, or contact during high-impact sports or shared eating or drinking utensils with you.
    • You are considered contagious
      • Starting 2 days before your symptoms started until 10 days after your symptoms started.
      • If you never had symptoms but tested positive, you are considered contagious starting 2 days before your COVID-19 test was performed until 10 days after your test was performed.
    • You can tell your close contacts they have been exposed and give them this LINK (link to I have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 (I am a close contact)-below) for more information.
      • You can also let them know anonymously by using https://tellyourcontacts.org/.
    • You can be around others when
      • at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms began, or since the date of your initial positive test (use the date the test was collected) if never develop symptoms, AND
      • if you had a fever, at least 24 hours have passed since your fever went away without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
      • your other symptoms have improved.
      • * *Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

See CDC guidance on when you can be around others after you had COVID-19.

  • Recommendations for Isolating to Protect Other Household Members
    • Stay in a separate room from the rest of your household members and use a separate bathroom if possible.
    • Consider people living with you. If you live with someone with health conditions, think about whether there are other places you or they can stay while you get well.
    • Keep your toothbrush and other personal items separate if you must use the same bathroom.
    • Family and roommates should avoid as much contact with you as possible and they should practice self-quarantine.
    • Wear a mask if you must go into spaces you share with others.
    • Use meal or grocery delivery services when possible or ask family and friends for help.
    • Clean and disinfect things you touch, like light switches, doorknobs, tables, and remotes. Learn about disinfecting your home if someone is sick from CDC.
    • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cover cough and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then wash your hands.
    • Don’t leave home, unless you need medical care.
    • Don’t share personal items. Things like dishes, towels, and bedding should not be shared, even with family.
    • Don’t use public transportation if you have another choice.

Learn more about what to do if you are sickcaring for someone sick at homehow to talk to your close contacts, and quarantine and isolation.

  • When to Seek Medical Care
    • Call your doctor if you have:
      • Fever that does not come down with medication.
      • Vomiting or diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours or any bloody diarrhea.
      • Shortness of breath.
      • Symptoms that keep getting worse and feel unmanageable.
      • Your other medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, are no longer under control.
    • Seek emergency medical care immediately if you have:
      • Trouble breathing, such as being unable to catch your breath.
      • Chest pain or persistent pressure in your chest.
      • Feel faint, light-headed, or unstable in any other way.
      • New confusion.
      • Inability to wake or stay awake.
      • New pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds.
      • *Note: These are not the only serious symptoms possible. Please call your medical provider for advice if you have any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
    • When Seeking Care at a Health Care Facility:
      • Call ahead to get instructions from your health care provider and to notify the health care facility you are seeking care for someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
      • Avoid using public transportation to get to your medical provider or emergency department. Do not use busses, Uber, Lyft, or taxi cabs.
      • If you are unable to drive yourself and do not have a ride, call 9-1-1 for transport by ambulance.
      • Inform them you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
      • If a family member or friend is giving you a ride, wear a mask or face covering that covers your mouth and nose while you are in the vehicle with them. If they are able, have them wear a face mask as well.
  • Managing Isolation
    • We know isolating at home may be difficult. If you need assistance with things like food, shelter, and healthcare, we want to get you the help you need.
      • If you need help finding community-based support and resources: Visit www.mi211.org or call 2-1-1 for immediate assistance. The Network of Michigan Community Action Agencies (CAA) also provides support in connecting low-income residents with resources in their community, such as food assistance, utility and rental assistance, employment counseling, and more
      • If you need healthcare coverage, food assistance, childcare support, or emergency financial support: Visit MI Bridges to apply for state benefits. MI Bridges also features more than 30,000 state and local services to help meet your needs.
      • If you need to find mental health support resources: Call 1-888-535-6136 and press “8” to talk to a Michigan Stay Well counselor. Or text “RESTORE” to 741741 to start a text conversation with a trained crisis counselor. Counseling is free, confidential and available 24/7. Connect with emotional-support resources and services here (www.michigan.gov/StayWell).
      • If you need to apply for unemployment benefits: Apply for unemployment assistance through the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.
      • If you need more Information on benefits for workers: Information can be found here
      • If you are a senior and need assistance: The Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) or 517-886-1029 offer services in every region. They offer services like meal delivery, home health care, counseling, and case management.
      • If you need help finding a healthcare provider: Visit your local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) which you can find at https://www.mpca.net/
      • If you need to know more about energy assistance and shutoff protections: Learn more about energy assistance and shut-off protections from the Michigan Public Service Commission.

What about Variants?

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly changing, and new variants of the virus are expected to occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Numerous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are being tracked in the United States and globally during this pandemic. As the virus spreads, it has new opportunities to change and may become more difficult to stop. These changes can be monitored by comparing differences in physical traits (such as resistance to treatment) or changes in genetic code (mutations) from one variant to another.
  • Delta is currently the predominant variant of the virus in the United States. Below is a high-level summary of what CDC scientists have recently learned about the Delta variant. More information will be made available when more data are published or released in other formats.
  • The Delta variant is more contagious: The Delta variant is highly contagious, more than 2x as contagious as previous variants.
  • Some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous variants in unvaccinated people. In two different studies from Canada and Scotland, patients infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients infected with Alpha or the original virus that causes COVID-19. Even so, the vast majority of hospitalization and death caused by COVID-19 are in unvaccinated people.
  • Unvaccinated people remain the greatest concern: The greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are much more likely to get infected, and therefore transmit the virus. Fully vaccinated people get COVID-19 (known as breakthrough infections) less often than unvaccinated people. People infected with the Delta variant, including fully vaccinated people with symptomatic breakthrough infections, can transmit the virus to others. CDC is continuing to assess data on whether fully vaccinated people with asymptomatic breakthrough infections can transmit the virus.
  • Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. However, vaccinated people appear to spread the virus for a shorter time: For prior variants, lower amounts of viral genetic material were found in samples taken from fully vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections than from unvaccinated people with COVID-19. For people infected with the Delta variant, similar amounts of viral genetic material have been found among both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people. However, like prior variants, the amount of viral genetic material may go down faster in fully vaccinated people when compared to unvaccinated people. This means fully vaccinated people will likely spread the virus for less time than unvaccinated people.

Can my pet get COVID-19? Can they give it to me?

It may be possible that your pet can get COVID-19 – two cats have been confirmed to have COVID-19 in New York, however; there is no evidence that your pet can give the virus to you.Until we know more, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
  • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

What if I have more questions?

Email us at info@dhd10.org or call the state hotline at: 1-888-535-6136.