Model of Coronavirus

About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that is spreading from person to person. The virus spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person speaks, sings, coughs or sneezes.

The COVID-19 virus is not that same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Those who are 12+ can get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. Those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated are recommended to continue masking and social distancing in most situations.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Mild symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, headache, runny nose, loss of sense of smell/taste, sore throat, and/or diarrhea. If you have mild symptoms you should seek testing

Call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room if you have severe symptoms, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, fever that doesn't respond to medication.


 Schedule a COVID-19 Test

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate and get tested.

If You Test Positive

Help prevent the spread of disease by staying home except to get medical care. You can discontinue isolation after: 

  • At least 10 days have passed following the onset of symptoms AND 
  • At least 1 day has passed following the resolution of fever WITH the improvement of other symptoms

At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available), and avoid sharing personal household items (i.e. cups, towels, and utensils). The Austin-Travis County isolation facility is no longer available. 

Contact Tracing
  • If you test positive, a case worker may reach out to you. 
  • APH case investigators will never ask for Social Security, Medicaid, insurance, immigration, or financial information. 
  • If you believe you are receiving a scam call, request the name, title, and call back number and you can verify the information with the City of Austin by calling 311 to ask for that person. 
  • Contact tracing helps prevent further transmission of COVID-19 by identifying, monitoring and supporting individuals who have been exposed

When to Quarantine

Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine following a known exposure unless you develop symptoms. 

For those who are partially or unvaccinated, review this flowchart to determine how long to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and were not wearing a mask OR you live with or work in a setting with people who are at high risk for severe disease, you should quarantine for the full 14 days. If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and were wearing a mask and do not live with or work in a setting with people who are at high risk for severe disease, the following guidance applies:

  • Quarantine for 10 days, monitoring your symptoms OR quarantine for 7 days, monitoring your symptoms AND receive a negative COVID-19 test on or after day the 5th day following exposure.
  • If you are a healthcare worker or first responder, quarantine for 7 days, monitoring your symptoms AND receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test result on or after the 7th day of exposure.

If you develop symptoms during your quarantine period and test positive for COVID-19, you need to self-isolate for at least 10 days since symptoms onset and for at least 1 day following the resolution of fever and improvement of other symptoms.


Convalescent Plasma Donation

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and have been without symptoms for at least fourteen days, you can help a COVID-19 patient in our community by donating whole blood or platelets at We Are Blood.