FAQ

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the questions we receive the most about our services.
If we missed anything, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature affect the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like those that cause the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months.  There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products, or packaging. However, it may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.  If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common Environmental Protection Agency-registered household disinfectants will work.

Children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and can get sick with COVID-19. Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or they may have no symptoms at all (“asymptomatic”). Fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults. However, children with certain underlying medical conditions and infants (less than 1 year old) might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Some children have developed a rare but serious disease that is linked to COVID-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).

CDC does not encourage the production and use of homemade hand sanitizer products because of concerns over the correct use of the ingredientsexternal icon and the need to work under sterile conditions to make the product. Local industries that are looking into producing hand sanitizer to fill in for commercial shortages can refer to the World Health Organization guidance.pdf iconexternal icon Organizations should revert to the use of commercially produced, FDA-approved product once such supplies again become available.

  • To be effective against killing some types of germs, hand sanitizers need to have a strength of at least 60% alcohol and be used when hands are not visibly dirty or greasy.
  • Do not rely on “Do It Yourself” or “DIY” recipes based solely on essential oils or formulated without correct compounding practices.
  • Do not use hand sanitizer to disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects. 

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.

 

Experts are working to learn more about both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Antibody tests for COVID-19 are available through healthcare providers and laboratories. Check with your healthcare provider to see if they offer antibody tests and whether you should get one.

A positive test result shows you might have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.

Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 might provide some protection from getting infected with the virus again. If it does, we do not know how much protection the antibodies might provide or how long this protection might last. Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection have been reported, but remain rare.

You should continue to protect yourself and others since you could get infected with the virus again.

If you test negative, you might not have ever had COVID-19. Talk with your healthcare provider about your test result and the type of test you took to understand what your result means.

Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, the results do not confirm whether or not you are able to spread the virus that causes COVID-19. Until we know more, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.

COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19). Seasonal allergies triggered by airborne pollen can lead to seasonal allergic rhinitis, which affects the nose and sinuses, and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which affects the eyes.

COVID-19 and seasonal allergies share many symptoms, but there are some key differences between the two. For example, COVID-19 can cause fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies. The image below compares symptoms caused by allergies and COVID-19.

Because some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies are similar, it may be difficult to tell the difference between them, and you may need to get a test to confirm your diagnosis.

Yes, you are still considered a close contact even if you were wearing a mask while you were around someone with COVID-19. Although masks provide some measure of protection to the wearer, there is always the chance that you have been infected.

CDC, in collaboration with EPA expects all products on List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)external icon to kill all strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Genetic mutations to COVID-19 do not impact the effectiveness of disinfectants. Destroying a virus is dependent on its physical properties, and recent genetic changes have not changed the basic physical properties of the virus that causes COVID-19.​

To find the correct disinfectant, click here:

https://cfpub.epa.gov/giwiz/disinfectants/index.cfm

Currently there is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 by eating or handling food.

It may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, such as a food package or dining ware that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Follow food safety guidelines when handling and cleaning fresh produce. Do not wash produce with soap, bleach, sanitizer, alcohol, disinfectant or any other chemical.

There is also no current evidence that people can get COVID-19 by drinking water. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or kill the virus that causes COVID-19.

Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is currently limited, CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. CDC’s recommendations are based on those of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts.

Each state has its own plan for deciding which groups of people will be vaccinated first. You can contact your state health department for more information on its plan for COVID-19 vaccination.

The goal is for everyone to be able easily to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large quantities of vaccine are available. As the vaccine supply increases, more groups will be added to receive vaccination.

Yes. To protect yourself and others, follow these recommendations:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
  • Wash your hands often

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Experts are also looking at how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities. We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update this page as we learn more.

Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19. Additional information can be found at key things to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.