About the Coronavirus and Protecting Your Health
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
|Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure.
About the Coronavirus
The 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, which means there are now outbreaks in multiple countries and continents simultaneously. Learn about 2019 novel coronavirus.
This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person to person. The exact way the virus is spread is not fully known. With similar coronaviruses MERS and SARS, person-to-person spread is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other viruses that cause respiratory illness spread. There also may be some spread when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches his or her own mouth or nose or possibly their eyes. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts. There is much more to learn about COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.
The first infection with COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread of this virus in the United States was reported on January 30, 2020. See the current U.S. case count of infection with COVID-19.
- Shortness of Breath
- New Loss of Taste or Smell
- Repeated Shaking with Chills
- Muscle Pain
- Sore Throat
- Symptoms Appear 2-14 Days After Exposure
- Sore Throat
- Fatigue (Tiredness)
- Muscle or Body Aches
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Itchy, Runny or Blocked Nose
- Itchy, Red, Watering Eyes
- Wheezing, Chest Tightness, Shortness of Breath, Cough
For up-to-date information, please check the following websites:
Protecting Your Health and Taking Precautions
According to health officials, there are everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of many respiratory viruses, including this new coronavirus. These include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The CDC offers these helpful handwashing recommendations and tips that we can all follow.
- The CDC also offers a helpful printable PDF on 10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home.
- View symptoms and self-checker information provided by the CDC.
Coronavirus symptoms (above), cold symptoms and flu symptoms are similar. The majority of cases of the illness have occurred in affected areas. If you have not been to an area affected by the outbreak, or exposed to an individual known or suspected to have the virus, chances are you might have the flu. If you are a student and have symptoms of fever, cough and body aches, and are feeling concerned, call 516.877.6000 and ask to speak to a nurse.
In some parts of the world, mask use is customary. People wear masks for a variety of reasons, including to avoid pollen and air pollution, as a courtesy to others when they have the common cold, and for other cultural and social reasons. If you see friends, neighbors or community members wearing a mask, do not assume that they have been exposed to coronavirus or any other illness. Please be kind to people who choose to wear one.
As of April 15, New York State issued an executive order requiring all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public. The requirement is based on new findings that doing do can help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The face covering can be store-bought or homemade or a scarf—see a video from the U.S. Surgeon General on making a simple cloth mask. The CDC discourages the use of N95 or surgical masks as those are needed by health-care workers.
Please view guidance for how to wear and take off a face covering from the CDC.
As of March 19, there were two coronavirus drive-through testing site has opened on Long Island, located at the west end of Jones Beach and Stony Brook University. Testing requests are by appointment only. Individuals are directed to call 1-888-364-3065 for more information. Those outside Nassau County should contact their local health department — see a list of New York State county contacts — to inquire about testing options.
Additional information on COVID-19 testing can be found through the New York State health department website. Further, Cigna now offers a robust testing site locator, which can be found on their Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Individuals and Families page in the Q&A on “where can I get testing.”