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How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and/or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more efficiently than influenza but not as efficiently as measles, which is among the most contagious viruses known to affect people. For more information about how COVID-19 spreads, visit the How COVID-19 Spreads page on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

How do I know which COVID-19 vaccine to choose?

There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines available: 1. The single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine will allow individuals to achieve the maximum level of protection against COVID-19 four weeks after receiving the vaccine. 2. The two-step Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires 2 doses, 21 days apart, and will allow individuals to achieve the maximum level of protection against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. 3. The two-step Moderna vaccine requires 2 doses, 28 days apart, and will allow individuals to achieve the maximum level of protection against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. *NOTE: Individuals must be 18+ to be eligible to receive Janssen (J&J), Pfizer, or Moderna. Youth ages 12-17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and must have parental consent to receive the vaccine and a parent or legal guardian must be present when youth ages 12-17 are receiving the vaccine.

Am I allowed to travel?

Travel guidance in relation to COVID-19 is subject to change frequently. As of June 10, 2021 the Centers for Disease (CDC) travel guidance is as follows: Domestic Travel

  • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. Once fully vaccinated, people can travel safely within the United States
  • Recommendations for unvaccinated people can be found here
International Travel
  • The CDC recommends no international travel until you are fully vaccinated
  • Follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, mask wearing, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination's requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
    • View COVID-19 travel recommendations by destination here
  • During travel, wear a facial covering over your nose and mouth on public transportation such as planes, trains, buses.
    • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel by air into the United States and show your negative test result to the airline before boarding your flight ( current as of July 6, 2021).
  • After travel it is recommended to get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after travel, and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
    • If you are unvaccinated, get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
      • If you do not get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

If you wish to be tested for COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. The Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 Testing Map provides a list of testing sites currently in the state.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away. If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Get rest and stay hydrated.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.
Learn More from the CDC about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19

Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • Pregnant and recently pregnant people
  • People aged 50 and older
    • People aged 85 and older are the most likely to get severely ill
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
    • People who are immunocompromised
      • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥40)
    • People with diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2)
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease
    • People with dementia or other neurological conditions
    • People with Down Syndrome

What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, the CDC says you should:

  • Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider
  • Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Have shelf-stable food choices available
  • Know the triggers for your condition (i.e. Asthma) and avoid whenever possible
  • Learn about stress and coping mechanisms, as fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions
  • Do not delay getting emergency care for your medical condition because of COVID-19
  • When possible, keep preventative care and other routine healthcare appointments (i.e. vaccinations and blood pressure checks) with your provider
Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor. More information on how to prepare, what to do if you get sick, and how communities and caregivers can support those at higher risk is available on People with Certain Medical Conditions

If I travel out of state do I have to self-quarantine for 14 days?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): "The CDC does not require travelers to undergo a mandatory federal quarantine. However, CDC recommends that unvaccinated travelers self-quarantine after travel for 7 days with a negative test, and 10 days if they don't get tested." CDC recommendations for domestic travel for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers can be found here

Can I mix and match vaccine for my booster shot?

Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC's recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots. For more information, read CDC's media statement about boosters from 10/21/2021 here:

Where can I find a list of local COVID-19 vaccine providers?

Individuals who are interested in receiving a booster dose can find a local vaccine provider at