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COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. It spreads easily through the air and mucus droplets from someone’s nose or mouth. It is very contagious.
It most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, a flu, or pneumonia. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people become severely ill and can die.
Vaccines are the best way to prevent getting very sick, going to the hospital or even dying from COVID-19. Everyone 6 months and older is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. A booster shot is an additional shot recommended for most people who have already been vaccinated to make the vaccine more effective over time.
Get tested if
- You have symptoms of COVID-19
- You were a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
Take a home test, ask your doctor, or find a community testing site.
If you have been around someone with COVID-19
If you have been in close contact (15 minutes or more, with or without a mask) with someone who has COVID-19 you should
- Watch yourself for symptoms for 10 days and wear a mask around others.
- Test 5 days after you were together or if you develop symptoms. If you take a home test, and get a negative result, consider taking another test 1-2 days later.
- Limit your in-person contact with or wear a mask around people who are at greater risk for 10 days.
If you feel sick
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, assume you are contagious.
- Stay home and away from others
- Take a COVID-19 test
- Tell people you were around that you that you got sick
- Take care of yourself and learn about treatment options
More about what to do if you have COVID-19
There are medicines that can make a COVID-19 illness less severe when started early. Talk to your provider early in your illness if you have risk for severe disease.
COVID-19 Treatments and Medications | CDC
Prevent the spread of COVID-19
To lower your own risk of getting COVID-19 and increase protection for those who are more vulnerable:
- Stay home when sick
- Get vaccinated
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Avoid touching your face
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
Coping with respiratory illnesses like COVID-19
Getting care for you and your family
If you don't have a doctor, call 211. Interpreters are available. You can also call Multnomah County Primary Care Health Centers 503-988-5558 to enroll as a patient.
Masks are always welcome as a way to reduce risk for yourself and the community. They are an important tool for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
We recommend wearing masks indoors if you are around others and you are
- At high risk
- Sick or tested positive and can’t stay home
- Or if you have recently been exposed to COVID.
Employers and businesses may have their own mask requirements.
At times of high COVID spread, Multnomah County Public Health may recommend everyone wearing a mask indoors until disease activity quiets down.