COVID-19 Fast Facts

  1. What is COVID-19?
  2. What's the deal about facemask & gloves?
  3. Isolation, Quarantine,  or Self-monitoring?
  4. What do I need to know about testing?
  5. I've tested positive, now what?
  6. NC LINKS Youth COVID Resources
  7. Check My Symptoms Online
  8. Vaccine Facts
  9. Self or Home Testing Kits 
  10. Smoking and COVID

What are coronaviruses? What is COVID-19?

CDC Link to COVID-19 Information

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Some coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States, and usually cause upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, although some can cause more serious illness. The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus causes the illness COVID-19. First identified in Wuhan, China, and is now being spread throughout the world.  People are encouraged to take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

CDC Link to Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

Coronaviruses, like COVID-19, are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.  

Help up prevent the spread of such a virus:

  • Keeping your child home if they have had a fever, used fever-reducing medication, or experienced symptoms of illness within the past 24 hours
  • Stay home when you are sick with a fever, using fever-reducing medication, or experiencing symptoms of illness within the last 24 hours
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

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. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.


What precautions should I take?

Take the same precautions that you would use for the seasonal flu (influenza). 

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose; throw it in the trash, not your pocket
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched such as doorknobs, computers, laptops, and cell phones
  • For the general public, CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.

Who is considered a high-risk individual?

  • People age 65 and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Other high-risk conditions include:

People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

People who have heart disease with complications

People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment

People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index greater than 40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk