COVID-19 Update VNSNY's COVID-19 Response: Helping New Yorkers stay safe and healthy - Learn more


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC believes that symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure. Mild cases may seem like a cold or a lower respiratory illness, such as a bronchitis.

In those with weakened immune systems, including people with chronic illness and the elderly, the virus can cause severe symptoms. These may include difficulty breathing and high fever and may lead to pneumonia or other severe infections.

What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?

The most important thing is to stay calm. If you develop a fever, cough, or other signs you may have COVID-19 infection, you should immediately contact your doctor and/or local medical center to discuss whether you should get test­ed for the virus.

What can I do to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19?

washing your hands is important to preventing infections like coronavirus

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Follow social distancing recommendations, remaining six feet away from all individuals aside from those in your household.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (stay at least six feet away if possible).
  • Please note that the CDC is advising individuals to stay home when you are sick, particularly if you are experiencing the symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection as described above: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • The New York City Department of Health recommends wearing a face covering (such as a scarf, dust mask, or bandana) when out in public. Ideally, wear a clean face covering every day. Please conserve medical-grade masks for our health care workers.

Who is at risk from COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

For More Information

This is a rapidly changing situation. For updates, please see these resource pages from the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York State has also established a hotline for questions and information: 1-888-364-3065.

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