Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus.
Some people who have COVID-19 infection remain asymptomatic, while others experience mild, moderate or severe symptoms.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
Less often, people may get abdominal discomfort, nausea, or have diarrhea.
It's important that you get tested if you have symptoms. If you need a COVID-19 test, please call 507-794-3691 to schedule a telehealth appointment with an SEMC provider. Learn more.
How Does the Virus Spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
How can I protect myself and my loved ones from COVID-19?
You can protect yourself and others by taking the following steps:
- Wear a mask around others.
- Social distance (remain 6 feet apart from those you do not live with)
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact, especially with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, limit close contact with others as much as possible.
- Stay home if you’re sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Quarantine Guidance for COVID-19
Quarantine - or separating oneself from others - is recommended for people who have been close to a person with COVID-19 (an exposure). Since people with COVID-19 become contagious before symptoms start or may have no symptoms at all, quarantine is an important way to keep COVID-19 from spreading. To protect family, other close contacts, and the community, a person who has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 must stay home and away from others (quarantine), get tested, and watch themselves for symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smells. For the most up-to-date quarantine guidelines, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.