COVID-19 Status Update
COVID-19 Symptoms & What to Do
COVID-19 can cause a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have had any of the symptoms listed below during the past 48 hours — regardless of vaccination status — the CDC recommends being tested for COVID-19 and isolating yourself at home until the results come back, except for receiving medical care.
Possible COVID-19 symptoms:
- fever or chills
- muscle or body aches
- nasal congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
- new loss of taste or smell
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- sore throat
Isolation and Quarantine
The CDC has created a COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Tool to help you decide what steps to take if you have been exposed to the virus.
- People who are up to date with COVID-19 vaccines or who have had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to quarantine.
- People who are unvaccinated or not up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines should quarantine for at least five days after close contact with someone with COVID-19.
- People who are sick or test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for at least five full days, even if they do not have symptoms.
Prevention of COVID-19
CDC recommendations for appropriate preventive steps differ from community to community, based on the number of new COVID-19 cases and resulting severity of illness. To find out the risk level in your area, visit the CDC website’s county-by-county report.
Masks: In all but high-risk-level areas, wear a mask based on your personal preference and individual risk level. Anyone with symptoms, a positive COVID-19 test, or has been exposed to the virus should wear a mask. Masks are required on public transportation and may be required elsewhere, such as healthcare facilities, workplaces, schools and other public places.
Vaccines and boosters: Currently, three vaccines are available to prevent COVID-19. The CDC’s recommendations on vaccination and booster schedules differ depending on age and health status. To see the latest on COVID-19 vaccines, go to the CDC website’s vaccine table.
COVID-19: Epidemic, Pandemic or Endemic?
As an infection spreads through a population, scientists who study diseases divide an infection’s characteristics into three categories: epidemic, pandemic and endemic.
Epidemic refers to a rise in a new disease throughout a specific area or community where it has not been prevalent before. An epidemic is considered temporary.
Pandemic refers to the rapid spread of a disease over a wider area, such as an entire country, continent or the whole world. This term has been used to describe COVID-19 since March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization officially declared a global pandemic.
Endemic refers to a disease that is consistently prevalent in a particular area, causing individual cases but no longer causing large outbreaks. For example, most strains of the flu are endemic, existing permanently in the population.
What Phase is COVID-19 Currently In?
At this time, COVID-19 may be shifting into the endemic phase. In February 2022, California was the first U.S. state to outline a COVID-19 endemic phase plan. Other states and countries are beginning to prepare similar plans, while still proceeding cautiously. Even if COVID-19 becomes endemic it might still be possible to have another pandemic if new COVID-19 variants emerge and cause fresh outbreaks.