Frequently Asked Questions

About COVID-19

Older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of contracting respiratory illnesses.

Populations who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 50 years and older.
  • Pregnant or recently pregnant people.
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • People who live in jails and prisons.
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
    • People who have serious heart conditions.
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment.
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk.
    • Smokers.
    • Substance abuse disorders.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus discovered in 2019. The virus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets and small particles produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

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

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Read about COVID-19 symptoms.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. View a list of disinfectant products.

Exposure to COVID-19 and Testing

Call your doctor or your County Health Department if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms, and need to be tested. They will decide whether you need to be tested, tell you where to go, and link you to local resources for people who have limited mobility.

The time between exposure to the COVID-19 virus and onset of symptoms is called the “incubation period.” The incubation period for COVID-19 can cary from 2 to 14 days, although in some cases it may be longer.

If you are concerned about a potential exposure and your health status, get tested for COVID-19 at a testing site near you.

Other Health Care Concerns

Yes, you should contact your healthcare professional just like you would at any other time. You should not delay in seeking medical care if you are concerned about your health, but call your health care provider before visiting the office.

If you are concerned about visiting your doctor, ask about what telehealth services they may offer. Your doctor’s office may ask screening questions, limit the number of people who can be in the office at any one time, require face masks, and introduce other processes to keep you safe.

Florida Resources

  • 211 – Thousands of caring, local experts are available to help, 24/7. Calls to 211 are confidential and can be anonymous.
  • Hope for Healing – Hope for Healing navigates the many ways Floridians can access help for mental health and substance abuse.
  • Resiliency and Mental Health – Resources for children provided by the Florida Department of Education.
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse – The Florida Department of Children and Families provides resources to locate verified social services providers for things like food, housing, transit, healthcare, legal aid, and more.

National Resources

Treatment Options

Yes. Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Molnupiravir  antiviral pills (for oral treatment) are available by prescription only. Eligible individuals should contact their health care provider to find out if this treatment option is appropriate for them.