Frequently Asked Questions*

Q: What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A: A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. COVID-19 causes illnesses that can range from mild to more severe.

Q: Who is at risk of contracting COVID-19?

A: According to the CDC, for the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.  The CDC’s current risk assessment includes:

  • People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.

  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.

  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.

  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on location.


According to the CDC, early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults

  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • Lung disease


For more information visit the CDC’s website.


Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: Most patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing


At this time, the CDC believes that symptoms of COVID 19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.


Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
A: The virus is most likely to spread through:

  • close contact with an infectious person

  • respiratory droplets produced when an infectious person coughs or sneezes

  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes


Q: What is the treatment for COVID-19?
A: There are no medications specifically approved for COVID-19. Most people with illnesses due to common coronavirus infections recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications. For patients who are more severely ill, medical care or hospitalization may be required. The medical community is continuing to learn more about COVID-19, and treatment may change over time.


Q: What can I do to keep myself and others healthy?
A: There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others.

  • If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Serious respiratory illnesses are spread by cough, sneezing or unclean hands.

  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school. Especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food

Q: What do I do if I have symptoms?
A: Call your health care provider to identify the safest way to receive care. Let them know if you have traveled to an affected area within the last 14 days or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.

In order to prevent health care facilities throughout Nevada from being inundated with calls and patients arriving at their locations without prior appointments, local health districts are urging residents to only contact your medical professional if it is a serious situation. Currently, medical providers in Nevada have the most concern for residents who:

  • Traveled to areas that have widespread/sustained community transmission such as China, Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Japan

  • Have had direct contact with someone who has been suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19

  • Have had severe illness requiring hospitalization for a viral respiratory disease that has no other known cause 


Q: What is a PUI ( person under investigation)?
A: According to the latest CDC guidelines, PUI are individuals with COVID-19 symptoms—but not necessarily the virus—who may have been exposed through close contact with a confirmed case, travel to an affected region, or who have severe respiratory illness requiring hospitalization with no more likely diagnosis and no source of exposure has been identified.


Q: What is a PUM (person under monitoring), otherwise known as an Individual under public health supervision?
A PUM is an individual who does not have COVID-19 symptoms but who may have been exposed through close contact with a confirmed case or from recent travel to an affected region. PUM determinations are made in accordance with CDC guidelines.


Q: What is close contact?
Close contact is defined as:

  • a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case


  • b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)


Q: Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
Information is available through the following resources:


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