More Facts

About COVID-19...

General Information

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new virus strain (novel coronavirus) that spreads from person-to-person that has not been previously identified. It is currently in the United States and most other countries in the world. Health experts are concerned because this new virus spreads easily and has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people — especially people over age 60 or who have weakened immune systems.
How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.

COVID-19 may also be spread by a person touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. This is not thought to be the main way this virus is spreading.

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads very easily between people in the following ways:
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (generally being within 6 feet (2 meters) for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over the course of 24 hours).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby or be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Health experts are still learning more about the spread and severity of illness COVID-19 causes.

How severe is COVID-19?

Most COVID-19 illnesses are mild with fever and cough. The vast majority of people with novel coronavirus infection do not require hospital care. A smaller percentage of people get severely ill with lung and breathing problems.

Older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness. Severe illness means that someone with COVID-19 may require hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may die.

The CDC has identified that people within the following groups may be at an increased risk for getting COVID-19 or severe illness, regardless of age: racial and ethnic minority groups; people who are pregnant or breastfeeding; people experiencing homelessness; people with disabilities; and people with developmental and behavioral disorders.

The CDC offers resources to help support those needing extra precautions.

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: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. This list is not all possible symptoms. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate away from others and follow the instructions at https://covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/for-cases/.

I have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 — now what?

Stay home.

If you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you are required  (per NAC 441A.280) to maintain quarantine (stay home and away from others).

The CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days after your last close contact as the safest option to reduce the risk of spreading illness. However, according to new CDC guidance you may end quarantine after 10 days if you do not have any symptoms during this 10-day period. If symptoms develop at any time, you must isolate yourself away from others and get tested.

After your quarantine period you should continue to limit your contact with others as much as possible, and always wear a face mask when you are around people who do not live with you.

The state of Nevada requires people who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 to sign a Declaration of Self-Quarantine. Sign the declaration here.
How do I quarantine?
  • Stay home. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public places or other people’s homes and do not invite anyone to your home.
  • If you need medical care, call ahead to let your provider know you have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Use grocery delivery or curbside services.
  • Stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
  • Take everyday actions to prevent the spread of germs.
    • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cover your cough/sneeze.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean all surfaces that are touched often like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning products according to the label instructions.
  • Make the best of your time at home by teleworking if you’re able or catching up on reading, your favorite shows, or other at-home hobbies.
  • Keep in touch with your family and friends by telephone or video calls.