Key points:

  • Wear a mask. 
  • Stay in your homegroup.
  • Stay six feet away from others.
  • If you get sick, isolate at home. 
    Stay in touch with your doctor.
  • If you are exposed to COVID-19, quarantine. 
  • If you have the virus, you can still infect others. 
    Even if you feel fine.
  • You are not alone. Help is available. 

If you get sick:  

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  • Runny Nose
  • Congestion
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or Body Aches
  • Loss of Taste or Smell
  • Sore Throat
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Stay home except to get medical care. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness. 
Most people recover without medical care. 

Go to the emergency department if you have serious symptoms:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Pain or Pressure in Chest
  • New Confusion
  • Inability to Wake Up or Inability to Stay Awake
  • Blue-Colored Lips or Face

Call 911. Notify the operator that you or the other person may have COVID-19. This list does not include all possible serious symptoms. Call your medical provider for symptoms that are concerning. 

If the symptoms are not serious, call your physician. Do not go there without calling. If it’s an emergency, call 911. Tell them your symptoms.  

If you do not have a primary care provider (PCP):

Take care of yourself. Rest, eat well, stay warm, and drink plenty of water. Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter medications. 

Monitor your symptoms. Get care immediately if you are having serious symptoms. 

Stay in touch with your doctor. Please do not call the health department with questions about your care. 


If you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should ISOLATE:

  • For 10 days after your test or after the beginning of symptoms, avoid contact with other members of your household and pets. Stay in a separate room. Sleep in a separate room. Use a separate bathroom, if possible. Do not share personal items, like towels or utensils. Do not go anywhere, including school or work. Wear a mask when around others. 
  • Tell your household and close contacts to quarantine (see below).
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks). Include the bathroom if sharing with others. 
  • Cover your cough or sneezes with a tissue and throw it away. Wash your hands with soap and running water after touching the tissue. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • If you must leave isolation, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from others, wash your hands frequently, and clean all touched surfaces.
  • Even if you do not feel sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others. Protect everyone as though they could become seriously ill.
  • Information from the CDC on isolation is at:

If you are not sick but have to QUARANTINE: 

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact a person with COVID-19. Do not go to work or to school, and do not run errands or visit with friends. 
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If any of these occur, notify your physician. 
  • If possible, stay away from others in your home, especially people who are at high risk.
  • Consider getting a COVID-19 diagnostic test 5 to 7 days after the last exposure.
  • People who are unable to safely isolate or quarantine should call their doctor, or for Erie County residents, call (716) 858-2929. 

If you were tested for COVID-19:

  • If you have symptoms, stay home. 
  • If you were in contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home.
  • Otherwise, wear a mask, stay six feet from others, and stay in your homegroup. 
  • If you were tested for a procedure and you have no symptoms, you do not need to stay home.

When the test results come, discuss them with your doctor.

If your test is positive...

A government contact tracer will call you.

Notify people you’ve been in contact with. Tell them to quarantine and to call their doctor. Tell them to consider getting a COVID-19 test. 

If you have symptoms stay home until:

  • You feel better.
  • It’s been 10 days since you got sick. 
  • You had no fever for one day.
  • You haven’t taken fever medicine for 24 hours.

If you do not have symptoms:

  • Stay home for 10 days after the test.

If your test is negative...

And you were in contact with someone with COVID-19:

  • You could still have COVID-19.
  • Stay home for 14 days after you saw the person. 

And you have symptoms: 

Talk to your doctor. While you have symptoms, stay away from work and school. Stay away from other public places. Consider getting another test.

And you do not have symptoms, protect yourself like always: 

  • Keep to your homegroup.
  • Stay six feet away from others.
  • Wear a mask.

If you do not have enough food, or you need health insurance, legal help or anything else:

  • There is a list of community resources on the Erie County health department’s website:
  • If you are in isolation or quarantine and need help with basic needs, call 2-1-1( 
    or the Erie County COVID-19 Information Line at 858.2929.

If you want or need a test: 

If you want more information, call your doctor, the county, or the state: 

  • Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 Information Line: 858.2929; 
    Foreign language interpreting available (open 8:00 am - 8:00 pm M-F and 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Sat-Sun)
  • NYSDOH COVID-19 Information Line: 888.364.3065; Ask a Question Online at NYSDOH COVID-19 Website

You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 at: 

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