Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

As published by NCDHHS and can be found here.

What is a coronavirus? What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Human coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States and usually cause mild illnesses like the common cold. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that was identified in Wuhan, China, and is now spreading throughout the world. Learn more about COVID-19 from NCDHHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How does it spread and what can I do to prevent it from spreading?

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. Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about how COVID-19 spreads and how to protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses.

Follow these common-sense measures to protect yourself and others from spreading viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

Should I wear a mask?

The CDC does not recommend that people who are healthy wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses. Facemasks should be used by people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and other respiratory illness like flu to protect others from getting infected. Healthcare providers and others taking care of people with COVID-19 should wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

Should I worry about opening packages from places where there’s been an outbreak?

Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Can you get COVID-19 from touching contaminated objects?

Possibly, if you touch a surface with the virus on it, and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes. However, this is not likely to be the main way the virus spreads.

Is a vaccine available?

Currently there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself from respiratory diseases like COVID-19 is to take common-sense precautions. These include frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your face, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and making sure you have gotten your annual flu shot. There is work underway to develop a vaccine.


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