COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
-Shortness of breath
-Muscle or body aches
-New loss of taste or smell
-Congestion or runny nose
-Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
For information on COVID-19 vaccines, click here.
In response to the spread of COVID-19, Congress has passed multiple bills into law to assist individuals and small businesses with effects of this pandemic. H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, as well the FY 2021 Appropriations legislation which included another pandemic relief package. Together, these laws dramatically expand critical financial lifelines for families, establish new benefits and protections for workers, create new tools for small businesses to meet payroll and other expenses, and provide relief for students and schools. This Families First Coronavirus Constituent Service Resource Toolkit (Spanish version can be found here) will help you understand all the benefits that are available to you and your community — and how to access them.
Additional information about the coronavirus from the CDC can be found here.
Additional information about the coronavirus from the Virginia Department of Health can be found here.
Additional information about the coronavirus from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can be found here.
Situation in Virginia
FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are currently available for healthcare personnel, frontline workers, and people age 65+. For more information about vaccine availability, click here.
On December 14, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam implemented new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 as new cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in all areas of the Commonwealth. Executive Order Seventy-Two directs Virginians to stay at home between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., implements a universal mask requirement, and lowers the limit on social gatherings from 25 people to 10 people. More information is available here.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Wear a mask;
- Wash your hands regularly;
- Continue teleworking, if possible;
- Maintain six feet of physical distance when outside of your home;
- Get tested immediately if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; and
- If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please follow these steps.
For a comprehensive list of actions Governor Northam has announced to combat COVID-19 in Virginia, visit virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Remember to take preventative actions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
- 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 rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. More information on the face coverings can be found here.
IF YOU FEEL SICK with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. More information on what to do if you are sick with COVID-19 can be found here.
More on Coronavirus
The Virginia Department of Health is responsible for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health has launched a website that allows Virginians to easily register for the COVID-19 vaccine.