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The COVID-19 virus spreads easily through respiratory droplets, such as when a person sick with the virus coughs or sneezes near another person.

It may also be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, although this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Loss of smell/taste
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

Prevention

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, scrubbing for a least 20 seconds and then rinsing thoroughly. If soap and water are not available to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash before washing your hands with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you touch frequently like door handles, cell phones, tablets, and computers.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick or who may be sick with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Stay home when you can to lower the probability of getting the virus or potentially spreading it to others
  • If you must go out, avoid crowds and keep at least 6 feet away from people outside of your home while practicing social distancing.
  • Get vaccinated when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to you.

Public resources

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, and we recommend that patients monitor information:

You also can call the Massachusetts COVID-19 hotline for information by dialing 211, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Massachusetts residents also can subscribe to real-time COVID-19 notifications from public health officials by texting the keyword "COVIDMA" to 888-777.


Updated June 22, 2021