Recommendations from the CDC
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 anyone 12 years of age and older can get the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The vaccines have proven safe and effective, and close to 300 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. You should still wear a mask in public indoor settings, or when gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household. 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.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
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, but with new hot spots emerging people in some communities must remain cautious.
What is the risk to me and my family?
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.
What are the symptoms?
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.
What should I do if I think I may have COVID-19?
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.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus spreads from person-to-person through close contact, coughing and sneezing. People may also get COVID-19 by touching something that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. The virus is contagious and spreads easily.
How do I protect myself and my family members?
- Stay home when you are sick and avoid contact with those who show signs of illness.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Get vaccinated, and be sure family members age 16 and older get vaccinated too.
How is COVID-19 Treated?
On October 22, 2020, the FDA approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for use in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. The National Institutes of Health provides more 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.