What is COVID-19

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Where can I be tested?

Call your healthcare provider if you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath and have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. It is important that you call first so they can evaluate your risk and determine if they need to see you in person so that other patients are not potentially put at risk.

For more information on local testing sites, please visit  www.gchd.org/testing.

COVID spread person to person

How does COVID-19 spread?

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. 

In addition to close contact with people, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Early on, many of the patients in the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, it is now clear that person-to-person spread is occurring. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.


COVD Symptoms 


How can I avoid infection with COVID-19?


There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not 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.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:


 COVID-19_FaceCovering-1080x1080_4 Facebook IG English COVID-19_FaceCovering-1080x1080_4-sp Facebook IG Spanish


See also the CDC website for more information on what you can do at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Get Your Home Ready (CDC)
Running Essential Errands (CDC)
Prevent Getting Sick (CDC)
Social Distancing (CDC)
Quarantine & Isolation (CDC)

What should I do if I think I may be sick?

Symptoms may show up 2‑14 days after exposure. The steps you should take if you think you are sick with COVID‑19 depend on whether you have a higher risk of developing severe illness. 

High risk individuals include older adults (65 years and older), heart disease, diabetes, cancer and weakened immune systems.
  • People 65 years or older, and/or people with medical issues, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system, are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID‑19.
  • If you are a high-risk individual and you develop fever or symptoms, call your doctor.
  • If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow your doctor's instructions and refer to CDC recommendations for how to take care of yourself at home.

General Population:

  • If you are in generally good health and have mild symptoms, stay home and take care of yourself like you would for a cold or the flu.
  • If symptoms worsen, call your doctor.

If you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick, you can use the COVID-19 Self-Checker on the DSHS Texas Health Trace application to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.

If you need help finding a doctor or accessing medical care, call 2‑1‑1 and they can direct you to low- or no-cost providers in your area.
What to do if you are sick (CDC)
Caring for yourself at home (CDC)
Caring for someone at home (CDC)

Information on disinfecting your home and vehicle and disposing of contaminated waste if someone is sick can also be found on the CDC and TCEQ websites:
Disinfecting your home (CDC)
Disinfecting non-emergency transport vehicles (CDC)
Disposal of COVID-19 contaminated waste (TCEQ)

Where can I learn more?

To learn key facts and help stop the spread of rumors, see the Share Facts, Not Fear page on the CDC's COVID‑19 website.

For more in-depth information on COVID-19, see the CDC's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).