New Hampshire Department of Health and Human ServicesCOVID-19

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19.

NH DHHS FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) pdf file (October 30, 2020)

FAQs in Alternate Languages

Frequently Asked Questions (ASL) video file | الأسئلة الشائعة حول كوفيد COVID-19 (Arabic) pdf file | Preguntas Frecuentes Sobre el COVID-19 (Spanish) pdf file | Questions Fréquentes sur le COVID-19 (French) pdf file | COVID-19 Maswali Yanayoulizwa Mara kwa Mara (Swahili) pdf file | Perguntas Frequentes Sobre a COVID-19 (Portuguese)  pdf file | COVID-19 Ibibazo Bibazwa Kenshi (Kinyarwanda) pdf file | Các Câu Hỏi Thường Gặp về COVID-19 (Vietnamese) pdf file

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, but only several types are known to commonly cause infections in people, with these common human coronaviruses usually causing mild to moderate respiratory illness (like the common cold). Newer human coronaviruses, like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and the COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms. The COVID-19 is originally thought to have spread from animals to humans, but now person-to-person spread is occurring.

How is it spread?

It's not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets, including:

  • Through the air by coughing and sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.

This is similar to how influenza and other respiratory infections spread. Until we learn more about how easily the COVID-19 spreads between people, healthcare providers may wear special personal protective equipment (e.g. masks and eye protection) when evaluating a patient if there is concern for infection with the COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fatigue, chills, muscle aches, loss of taste and smell and, in severe cases, difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. For more about the symptoms of COVID-19, go to CDC COVID-19 FAQs.

How can I protect myself and others?

There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, and help prevent transmitting infections to others, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contained at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact. When outside your home put 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) distance between yourself and people who you do not live with. This is known as social distancing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask  pdf file when around others, everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don't live in your households, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you have a fever or are not feeling well.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

I think I have COVID-19, what should I do?

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, you should call ahead to your healthcare professional. Anyone with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 is encouraged to get tested. Testing options can be found on the Testing Guidance page.

Any person with COVID-19 symptoms who is not tested and can be managed at home should self-isolate until:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and
  • At least 24 hours (1 day) have passed since recovery – which is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

Have a plan in case you get sick:

  • Consult with your healthcare provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.
  • Determine who can provide you with care if your own caregiver gets sick.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852