COVID-19 illness can range from mild illness to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or cough. Sometimes people have a sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath and feel very tired. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild disease but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized. Shortness of breath can mean more serious illness.
- Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are preferred if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing personal household items
You should not share dishes, utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the instructions on the label. Bathroom and toilet surfaces should be cleaned daily with a household cleaner and then with a bleach disinfectant.
Many people are interested in testing for COVID-19 out of concern for themselves and their loved ones. If you have trouble breathing or feel very ill, contact your healthcare provider or, in case of emergency, call 911.
Healthcare providers may decide to have you first tested for other illnesses, like the flu, based on your possible exposure history and any other symptoms you might have.
Your health care insurance may cover the cost of testing at an in-network provider, but co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance may apply. It is always best to contact your plan to confirm costs.
To learn more, go to the Oregon Health Authority coronavirus page or call 2-1-1.
Frequently Asked Questions
Social distancing refers to measures that are taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus. Examples include working from home, avoiding large events and keeping your distance in public to about 6 feet.
Where you can’t maintain more than 6 feet between people, make sure you avoid touching your face and wash your hands well and often.69961
Close contact is defined by the CDC as being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time. It also means having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
Close contact with an infected person poses the highest risk of disease spread. That includes:
- Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19,
- Caring for a sick person with COVID-19,
- Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19, OR
- Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).
It is important to note that many people are exposed without knowing it. That’s why you need to be on the lookout for cough and fever whether you know you’ve been exposed or not.69961
You do not need to report this. COVID-19 cannot be diagnosed via telemedicine, only by a swab or sputum sample test. There are many respiratory viral syndromes circulating in our community, and most are NOT COVID-19.
Additionally, most COVID-19 infections are minor. However, in this time of uncertainty, we should all stay home when we are ill.69961
If someone in your household becomes sick with cold symptoms, cough or fever, it is possible that they have COVID-19. They should contact their healthcare provider for medical advice, especially if they are over the age of 60, pregnant, or have chronic medical conditions. If they can stay home to recover, they should follow all these precautions.
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Avoid going to work and public areas.
- Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- If you have a medical appointment, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the provider’s office take steps to keep other people from becoming exposed or infected.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
- You should stay in your own room and away from other people in your home as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Increase airflow in shared spaces like the kitchen or bathroom by opening windows. If you need help, have just one person who is healthy provide care.
- You should avoid contact with pets and other animals while sick. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals. If you must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.
- Wear a facemask
- You should wear a facemask when you are around other people, pets, and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not be in the same room with you or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can and immediately clean your hands as described below.
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are preferred if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- You should not share dishes, utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
- High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the instructions on the label. Bathroom and toilet surfaces should be cleaned daily with a household cleaner and then with a bleach disinfectant.
- Monitor your symptoms
- Call your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting more serious (such as difficulty breathing). Tell your healthcare provider that you have, or may have, COVID-19. If you need to be seen in person, follow their instructions on how to enter a facility without exposing others and wear a facemask.
- If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify them that you have — or may have – COVID- 19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.
If you get sick with cold-like symptoms, fever, cough or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are very mild), you likely have COVID-19. You should stay home and away from other people. If you have any of the following conditions that may increase your risk for a serious infection — age 60 years or older, are pregnant, or have medical conditions — contact your healthcare provider and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have illness symptoms. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19.
If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, call your healthcare provider and tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have illness symptoms. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19 and testing is not recommended for people who have mild illness. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify them that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.69961
We certainly understand your interest in the location of COVID-19 cases. But we are not permitted to release any information that may identify an individual because of patient privacy laws. Please know, however, that COVID-19 is transmitted only through person to person contact, not just by being in the general area of someone who has it.
Sharing location information may also have the unintended effect of stigmatizing a community, which we do not want to do either.
The risk of COVID-19 is widespread across the community, so the best way you can stay safe is to follow the public health guidelines — stay home; if you have to go out for essential needs, stay at least 6 feet away from other people; wash your hands frequently and cover your coughs with tissue, sleeve or elbow.69961
You should monitor your health and stay home at the first sign of illness. Symptoms can be similar to the common cold with sore throat and cough. Fever is not always present. Shortness of breath can mean more serious illness. Monitor your symptoms for 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. As a precaution, you should avoid contact with people who are at higher risk for severe illness, which includes those 60 years or older, pregnant women, and those with medical conditions. Do not take rideshare, public transportation, and avoid public places for 14 days.69961
If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and experience symptoms, you can leave home after:
You have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (meaning three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND other symptoms have resolved.
Even after your symptoms have improved you must continue to follow Oregon’s Stay Home executive order which includes only going out for essential needs such as groceries and medical care, and returning to work as determined by your employer.69961
CDC recommends& wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Clackamas County is following federal distribution protocols by prioritizing front line medical personnel for surgical and N95 masks. Those supplies are urgently needed.69961