What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus – commonly referred to as COVID-19 – is an illness caused by a virus that is thought to spread very easily through close contact from person-to-person. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of the illness it causes. Currently, several variants of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are creating concern in the U.S. Some of these variants spread more easily and cause more severe illness than others. New variants of the virus are expected to continue to emerge. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.
The CDC has developed a Coronavirus Self Checker tool to help make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you or someone you care for develop symptoms, it is important to contact a healthcare professional and get tested, if available. For information on community-based testing locations near you, visit My Turn for scheduling and assistance with vaccination.
Important considerations about the spread of COVID-19 from the CDC include:
- The virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- The virus travels in respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled by the lungs.
- Respiratory aerosols (produced from activities such as exercise, singing, and shouting) can potentially spread the virus even further than 6 feet.
- It is important to remember that some people with COVID-19 have no symptoms.
- Some people without symptoms may still be able to spread the virus.
- For testing, vaccination, and data, visit California For All
- For scheduling and assistance with vaccination, visit My Turn California
- For information and guidance, visit the California Department of Public Health
- For information for individuals receiving services funded by the California Department of Developmental Services, visit DDS
Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Information
- CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Information
- 8 Things to Know About the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program
- How COVID-19 Vaccines Work
- FAQs about COVID-19 Vaccination
- Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines
- Different COVID-19 Vaccines