Consistent with the State's implementation of CDC's guidance on COVID prevention, use layered strategies including staying up to date on vaccines and following the steps below to help prevent illness.  

The CDC also issued updated respiratory virus guidance to help people lower risk of a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, including COVID-19, flu and RSV.



Everyone should:

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wear a mask in crowded places.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects

For people who feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19:





Monitor your symptoms. *Common symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*Emergency warning signs include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
  • Confusion or trouble waking up
  • Bluish lips or face

Call for medical attention immediately.

*This list is not a complete list. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

What to do if You are Sick

  • Stay home and away from others.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Manage fever and pain with over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers (never give aspirin to children).
  • Call your health care provider if you are in a higher risk group or are very sick to see if antiviral treatment is recommended for you.

How Long to Stay home if you are Sick

The length of time you can infect others may vary depending on the strain of COVID-19. You are usually contagious from 2-3 days before symptoms start through 10 days after illness begins. If you were severely ill, you could be contagious longer than 10 days.

  • Stay home at least 24 hours after you are fever-free without using a fever reducing medicine and symptoms are getting better overall. Wear a mask for the next 5 days.
    • Take special care if you will be around someone at risk for severe illness, including the very old, the very young, those who are pregnant, or those who are immunocompromised.
    • People are usually most contagious early in the illness.
  • Children under age 2 should never wear a mask. Consult with a health care provider about how long the child should stay home.

People at High Risk of Severe Illness

Anyone can get COVID-19 and feel sick, but some people are at high risk for serious illness and even death. People who have received COVID-19 vaccines can still experience infections, although their risk of severe illness and hospitalization is greatly reduced.

These are some of the factors that could put you at high risk:


The risk of getting seriously sick from COVID-19 increases with age, especially starting at the age of 65. Most COVID-19 deaths occur in people older than 65. The risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or death is worse if you also have an underlying health condition.

Underlying Health Conditions

People with underlying or chronic health conditions (called "comorbidities") are especially vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalization, and death if they catch COVID-19. The disease can weaken their body or make their underlying health condition worse.

Below are the most common comorbidities that lead to serious COVID-19 complications:

  • Heart disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and more)
  • Lung disease (asthma, COPD, and more)
  • Obesity and overweight (any BMI greater than 25 kg/m2)
  • Smoker (current or former)
  • Liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol-related illness, and more)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Cancer
  • Blood disorders (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia)
  • Pregnancy
  • Disability (cerebral palsy, birth defects, intellectual and developmental disability, Down syndrome, ADHD)
  • History of stroke
  • History of substance use
  • Tuberculosis
  • Immunocompromised, or have a weakened immune system (including people who have received an organ or bone marrow).
  • Mental health conditions
  • Physical inactivity
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant

If you have any of the conditions on this list, make sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations, and continue to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands often to help prevent infection.


Due in part to a long-standing history and persistence of structural racism and inequities (known as the social determinants of health), many Black and Hispanic communities in the United States have experienced worse health outcomes from COVID-19 compared to other populations. This includes higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths for Black and Hispanic communities.

Anyone with one or more of the factors listed above who gets COVID-19 is more likely to:

  • Be hospitalized
  • Need intensive care
  • Require a ventilator to help them breathe
  • Die