Currently, there is no specific antiviral medication that is FDA-approved to treat COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
How can I help protect myself and my loved ones?
Everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory disease, including COVID-19.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
The CDC now recommends that unvaccinated individuals should cover their nose and mouth with a cloth face covering when around others. If you do not have a mask, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe, including tables, switches, doorknobs, and sinks.
Stay home when you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
COVID-19 vaccination is available to anyone over the age of 12. Vaccines are more than 95% effective at preventing serious disease and hospitalization.
Public health experts encourage physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. Keeping a distance of 6 feet from others reduces the chances of inhaling respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough or sneeze. Avoiding large crowds also reduces the chances of infection.
Should I wear a face mask in the community to prevent COVID-19?
The CDC recommends that anyone who is not vaccinated (except children under 2) should cover their nose and mouth with a cloth face covering when around others. The cloth face covering is meant to prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to others in case you are sick, even if you are not exhibiting symptoms.
Are children more susceptible to COVID-19 compared with the general population?
There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Children should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection, including cleaning hands often by using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding people who are sick and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza vaccine.
Should I be concerned about COVID-19 if I am pregnant?
f you have questions about working while pregnant, please discuss them with your supervisor. In addition, the CDC has information for other special populations, including pregnant women, who at this time are considered to possibly be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, compared with people who are not pregnant. There also may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. Please practice everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread COVID-19 at home and in the workplace. Review the CDC guidance for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Should I be concerned about pets or other animals and COVID-19?
While this virus is most likely to have emerged from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. There is no evidence that any companion animals in the United States might spread COVID-19 to people or be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, the CDC has received few reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 outside of the U.S., and the first case of an animal testing positive in the U.S. was a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.
Read more about pets and COVID-19 from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the CDC.
What does it mean to be quarantined?
Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease, but have not developed illness, from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease.
I am planning to travel internationally. Will COVID-19 affect my plans?
Travelers should remember that this is an evolving situation and travel advisories may change from day to day.
The Alachua County Health Department has created a new call center for the community to address questions about testing and any concerns with COVID-19. The call center’s phone number is 352-334-8810.