About COVID-19 & Symptoms

About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Last updated: May 26

COVID-19 is a new disease, and our understanding of the virus that causes it continues to evolve. It was first detected in China and has now been detected in every continent except Antarctica. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.

The virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The disease is believed to have originally occurred from animal-to-person contact and spreads person-to-person. People are now becoming sick from community spread, which means that it is not known how they became infected.

COVID-19 can be mild or severe. Older people with other health conditions seem to be at higher risk for severe illness and death.


People with these symptoms or combination of symptoms may have COVID-19. Symptoms may appear 214 days after exposure to the virus.

  • Cough (new or worsening)
  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chills
  • Loss of smell or taste in the last 14 days
  • Muscle Pain
  • Fever
  • Gastrointestinal Issues (vomiting or diarrhea)

What to Do If You Feel Sick

Call your physician’s office for direction about testing and treatment if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Do not go to your physician’s office before calling. You could risk infecting others.
If you are having serious trouble breathing, go the emergency department or call 911.

Prevention Tips

Help protect yourself, your family and your community against illness.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Practice physical distancing and stay home if you are able.