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What you need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging illness. Many details about this disease are still unknown, such as treatment options, how the virus works, the total impact of the illness, and many other factors.

What is the coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by a new virus called a coronavirus, which has become a public health emergency. The number of cases continue to increase nationally and globally.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and lower respiratory illness. It may be contagious before a person begins showing symptoms.

What else causes similar symptoms?

Influenza (the flu), a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses (Type A and Type B), has high activity in the United States at this time. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine.

I may have symptoms. What do I do?

If you have been exposed or begin showing symptoms of the virus or flu, contact your healthcare provider or health department immediately.

Protect yourself and your community.

We all have a role to play in protecting our communities and families from the spread of coronavirus. It is similar to other communicable viruses. You can also follow these tips to prevent infection:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing rub (must contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
  • Promptly dispose of tissues in a wastebasket after use.
  • Clean public surfaces thoroughly.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get a flu vaccine.

What you need to know about COVID-19 (PDF)

Keep up to date on coronavirus from the PA Department of Health

PA Department of Health

Are you feeling stressed and anxious? Do you need help managing your mental health or drug and alcohol use? If you need to talk to someone, use our Behavior Health Resources to find help in your area. 

Behavioral Health Resources (PDF)

For more information, including travel advisories, please visit cdc.gov.

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