Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
COVID-19, or coronavirus disease 2019, is respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus. It was first identified in humans in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. The virus that causes COVID-19 is called SARS-CoV-2.
Q: What are the symptoms?
Symptoms, which generally appear two to 14 days after exposure, include cough or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing. You also may have COVID-19 if you have two or more of these symptoms fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. These symptoms range from mild to severe; however, some people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. Older adults, people with chronic health conditions, and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to become more severely ill.
Q: How does it spread?
COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) with one another and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 
Q: What can I do to reduce my risk of being infected?
A: CDC How to Protect Yourself and Others
Q: What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
Call a healthcare professional if you develop symptoms listed above. Get tested. If you test positive, isolate according to current CDC guidelines. If you experience severe symptoms (e.g., persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face, or other concerning symptoms), contact a healthcare provider or emergency department and seek care immediately.
Q: Should I get tested for COVID-19?
If you would like to be tested for COVID-19 please contact your Primary Care Physician for testing availability or see our testing page for more information.
Q: Should I visit my doctor for concerns not related to COVID-19?
You should make all medically necessary visits as recommended by your healthcare provider. Ask for teleservices or virtual visits if available and appropriate.
Q: Is food safe? Can I get COVID-19 from a person who handles my food?
Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person. Food workers who are sick should stay home until they no longer pose a risk of infecting others. Anyone handling, preparing, or serving food should always follow safe food handling procedures, such as washing hands and surfaces often. It is also critical to follow the four key steps of food safety — clean, separate, cook, and chill — to prevent foodborne illness. For more information visit our Food Safety Page.
Q: Is it safe to travel internationally?
For the latest updates, visit the U.S. Department of State and look for COVID-19 travel information along with standard travel advisories.
For answers to other COVID-19 questions, call the SCPH call center at (330) 926-5795.
page reviewed - 02/10/2022