If you haven't been vaccinated yet, get a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible. All adults in the U.S. can get any type of Covid-19 vaccine available, and children 5 years of age and older can get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The vaccines have proven safe and effective, and close to 450 million doses have been administered in the U.S. Information from the CDC about the safety of Covid-19 vaccines.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing many things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
To maximize protection from the Delta and Omicron variants and prevent possibly spreading them to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission, or when gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household. Wearing a mask is most important if you or someone in your household has a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease. Information from the CDC for when you've been fully vaccinated.
Whether or not you are vaccinated, you don't need to wear a mask when you are running, hiking or biking outdoors, alone or with members of the same household.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in 2019 in China. It has since spread across the globe and affected communities all across the United States. As more people are getting vaccinated, the outbreak has slowed in some places, but with new hot spots emerging people in some communities must remain cautious. The highly contagious Omicron variant has emerged as a focus of concern, surpassing even the Delta variant in transmissibility. No matter the variant, vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging.
Most cases are mild and for most of the American public the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low. Older adults and people of any age who have serious pre-existing conditions are more vulnerable to severe illness, including illness resulting in death.
The symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath, and usually appear 2-14 days after exposure. Occasionally the symptoms are more severe and may even require hospitalization.
You should isolate yourself at home while you are sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). SwiftMD doctors can assess your symptoms, answer questions you may have about the disease, and provide supportive care for symptoms such as mild fever, cough or sore throat. For most patients, the illness will be mild and our doctors recommend that patients with minor symptoms stay home to recover rather than go in to be tested. For a definitive diagnosis or test, you will need to contact your PCP's office to arrange for testing through your local health department, LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics. You should seek medical care in person if your symptoms worsen, such as high fever, weakness, lethargy or shortness of breath. Call ahead to let your healthcare provider know that you may have COVID-19 so they can take steps to prevent others from getting exposed or affected.
The virus spreads from person-to-person through close contact, coughing and sneezing. The virus is contagious and spreads easily.
The treatment of COVID-19 has been a subject of intense scientific study and clinical practice has advanced substantially since the disease first emerged. The National Institutes of Health provides up-to-date information about treatment options.
People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. People with mild symptoms are able to recover at home. If you experience a medical emergency such as trouble breathing, call 911 and let the operator know you may have COVID-19. Never take a prescription medicine or drug if it is not prescribed for you by your doctor for your health condition.