+ Add Chrome Extension

USA TODAY

news
Jan 20, 2021
1  Likes 0  Comments

About this Deal

Your guide to coronavirus and COVID-19
What you need to know about coronavirus and COVID-19, including what to do if you think you might be sick, how to keep you and your family safe and tips on what to do while staying home.

Last updated: Jan. 15, 2021 9:08 p.m.

What do you need to know?

Vaccine
Basics
Masks
Safety
Health
Personal Finance
Travel
Schools
Rumors
Science News
Help Others
Questions
Connect
Vaccine

What is the status of the vaccine in the US?
We are tracking the COVID-19 vaccine distribution by state. See how many vaccines your state received and how many people have gotten one so far in our visual guide.

See the vaccine tracker
When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Since the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved, health care workers and people in long-term facilities across the country have been lining up to get their scheduled vaccine. A CDC advisory panel decided Sunday that police, firefighters, teachers and grocery workers will be among the next in line for a COVID-19 vaccine. Followed by Phase 1b, Phase 1c and Phase 2.

Read more
Can you test positive for coronavirus after getting a vaccine?
It’s still possible to test positive for the coronavirus even after getting vaccinated, experts said. The CDC said it can take weeks for a person’s body to build up immunity after getting vaccinated.

Read more
I already had COVID-19. Should I get the vaccine?
People who have had COVID-19 "may be advised" to get the vaccine, "due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible," according to the CDC.

Read more
Are there side effects?
Americans will likely experience at least one side effect from the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors say that’s normal and you should still get vaccinated.

Read more
What about pre-existing allergies?
Two British people with severe allergies apparently had allergic reactions to Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, raising questions about whether it is safe for people with preexisting allergies. It was not immediately clear what triggered the allergic reactions. Unlike some vaccines, in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine there are no preservatives or egg products, which have been known to trigger reactions with other types of vaccines. Allergic reactions were not a significant problem in the U.S. trial.

Read more
I am hesitant to get the vaccine. What should I do?
While it's understandable to be hesitant of a new vaccine, physicians such as Dr. Caesar Djavaherian say, patients don't need to wait. “Historically with a vaccine, the terrible (serious adverse events) that we’re always worried about actually present themselves in a matter of weeks,” Djavaherian, an ER doctor who leads the pandemic response at Carbon Health, a national primary and urgent care provider. “We’re not seeing that type of spike ... in the weeks we see people taking the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.” Experts say Americans should feel confident in the vaccines now based on the data.

Read more
What are the differences between the two vaccines?
Both of these vaccines target the “spike protein” found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19, which allows the virus to attach itself to host cells and infect them. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines deliver strands of genetic material known as mRNA, which turns people’s cells into spike protein factories.

Read more
What are the 'ingredients' in the vaccine?
Experts say the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, which was authorized Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, looks pretty standard for a vaccine.

See the list of ingredients
Will I be required to get a vaccine?
For some, the short answer is yes, public health and legal experts say. But a mandate is not likely anytime soon, and likely not to come from the federal government. Instead, employers and states may condition return or access to workplaces, schools and colleges upon getting the vaccine and mandate it once the FDA issues full approval, potentially months later.

Read more
How much does the vaccine cost? Is it safe during pregnancy?
We know you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, and we’re here to help. Readers submitted their questions, and we spoke with public health experts to answer them below. Here's what we found out.

Read more
What has been said about the vaccine effectiveness?
The FDA released a 53-page report summarizing data from Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 candidate vaccine trial. The data supports earlier findings that the vaccine is safe and will prevent 95% of people from becoming sick with COVID-19.

Read more
I have another question about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Is there something else you want to know about the vaccine that isn't answered here? Ask us your questions through our online form.

Ask your question
Basics

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Congestion, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea are the four most recent symptoms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added to its growing list of potential signs of the novel coronavirus. The CDC previously said symptoms include chills, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell. The agency now lists 11 symptoms on its website.

Read more about the symptoms
Is there more than one strain of coronavirus?
Several U.S. states and at least 30 countries have identified a new coronavirus variant, known as B.1.1.7. Several nations have also identified an additional variant, that also appears to infect people more easily.

Read more
Is coronavirus spread through the air?
The CDC has updated its website to warn that the coronavirus can spread through the air, something public health experts have been warning about for months but went unacknowledged by the agency until October. The CDC says people can be exposed to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours, potentially infecting people who are farther than 6 feet away and even people who come into the area after an infected person has left.

Read more
How long do I need to quarantine if I may have been exposed to COVID-19?
The CDC reduced the recommended days a person must quarantine after coronavirus exposure from 14 days to seven or 10 days. The new guidelines say people who have close contact with an infected person can end their quarantine after seven days if they receive a negative test or after 10 days without a test. The CDC defines close contact as 15 minutes total spent 6 feet or closer to an infected person.

Read more
How many cases are there in the US and where I live?
We are tracking the coronavirus outbreaks across the US and in your state with daily updated maps, total cases and deaths.

See the maps
How did a third wave of COVID-19 engulf the US?
Here's a visual look at how COVID-19 has hit communities throughout the nation.

Read more
What does coronavirus do to your body?
When the virus enters the body, it begins to attack. From infection, it takes approximately five to 12 days for symptoms to appear.

Here's everything to know about the infection process
How long does coronavirus live on surfaces?
Coronavirus could be transmitted by touching a surface and then touching your nose, mouth or eyes, but "this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads," according to recently updated guidelines from the U.S. Centers from Disease Control and Prevention. Person-to-person contact is believed to the primary way the disease spreads, per the CDC.

Read more
How did the coronavirus start?
We look at where and how the coronavirus pandemic started and spread globally.

Read more
Which world leaders have tested positive for coronavirus?
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are latest among the world leaders who have tested positive for coronavirus.

See the list
Masks

What are the current recommendations on masks?
The CDC has long advised people to wear masks because they help prevent people who are infected – whether they know it or not – from spreading the coronavirus. Here’s a look at how what we know about masks has changed, and how government officials are increasingly getting behind the idea of mandating the use of masks.

Read more
Which type of face mask is the most effective?
Researchers ranked more than a dozen masks on how well they might protect wearers and those around them from COVID-19.

See the ranking
What's true and what's false about face masks?
We put together a list of recent fact-checks related to face masks.

See the list
Can I make my own face mask?
Yes! Here's a pattern and instructions to make a face mask.

Read more
Safety

What are states doing to combat rising cases and deaths?
As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise nationwide, some states are halting phased reopening plans or imposing new coronavirus-related restrictions. Several are putting limits on social gatherings, adding states to travel quarantine lists, mandating face masks and encouraging residents to stay home, as many did in the spring. Others are restricting business hours of operation and limiting restaurant capacity.

Read more
What is pandemic fatigue? How do I fight against it?
As the pandemic worsens, some grow tired of following restrictions. According to public health experts, “COVID fatigue” has contributed to the spike in positive cases in recent weeks. In place of socially distanced outdoor gatherings, people may be tempted to escape the cold and spend the winter months indoors with their loved ones. Some are growing tired of wearing masks and following certain guidelines. Finding healthy alternatives to activities we once took comfort in is crucial as we see an increase in cases, experts say.

Read more
Is everyone going out without me?
Maybe not. Since the number of COVID-19 cases has risen again, some Americans have lost confidence in sending their child back to school, going to a religious service or eating at a restaurant, according to a new study.

Read more
How safe are winter outdoor activities during the coronavirus pandemic?
As colder weather arrives, more people will be indoors and in close quarters, which can add to the spread. Health experts say the best way to keep yourself safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is to stay home. Spending time outdoors while practicing social distancing can be a welcome respite for people who want fresh air and a chance to get exercise. But some activities are safer than others.

Read more
Is shopping in stores safe during the pandemic?
There are ways to reduce risk, but health experts advise avoiding it when possible. The CDC says holiday shopping in crowded stores is a “higher risk” activity and that people should limit any in-person shopping, including at supermarkets.

Read more
Do social bubbles work?
A study published during June in Nature suggests that we can still have social lives during the pandemic as long as we think a little bit about the groups we interact with. With infection rates growing around the country, setting up some kind of bubble now can be important to you and your community to slow infection rates, the study finds.

Read more
Are all hand sanitizers safe?
No. The FDA's "do-not-use list of dangerous hand sanitizer products" now includes more than 130 varieties of hand sanitizer that should be avoided because they may contain methanol, a potentially fatal ingredient.

Read more
Can stores really require me to wear a face mask?
Yes. Local governments can decide what safety measures to impose on businesses, but individual businesses can institute further restrictions.

Read more
Should I also wear gloves?
Wearing gloves could be more harmful than helpful. We spoke to experts to get the facts.

See what experts say
Can I return to the gym?
Here are a few safety tips to help limit your risk of getting sick from the coronavirus.

See the tips
Is it safe to wear face masks while working out?
Even before gyms started opening up, masks were a divisive topic among runners, hikers and walkers during lockdown. Inside the doors of the gym, risk is elevated, and so too is the debate over whether to wear a mask that could suction to the nose and mouth.

Read more
How do I safely return to the office?
The CDC has published comprehensive guidelines for businesses to follow in order to protect employees.

Read more
Is it safe to go to an indoor bar?
Scientists and doctors explain why bars are hot spots for COVID-19 transmission.

See what experts say
Is day care safe during the coronavirus pandemic?
Child care during the coronavirus pandemic can best be described as clinical. The big question: Is it safe? Here are some guidelines.

Read more
Can I make disinfectant wipes at home?
Yes, you can make your own CDC-approved disinfectant wipes at home. Here's how.

Read more
Health

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Congestion, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea are the four most recent symptoms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added to its growing list of potential signs of the novel coronavirus. The CDC previously said symptoms include chills, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell. The agency now lists 11 symptoms on its website.

Read more about the symptoms
How do I tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19?
The flu and COVID-19 share several common symptoms. Here's a look at how to differentiate the two viruses.

Read more
Does COVID-19 just affect people who are old or already ill?
A dangerous fiction has made its way through social media and American politics, the idea that COVID-19 is really only a danger to the elderly or those with a severe, chronic illness. When the young and healthy underestimate the danger, it provides new opportunities for the virus to spread, especially at a time when many Americans have grown weary from months of wearing masks, canceling birthday parties and downsizing weddings and funerals, experts say.

Read more
Can kids get COVID-19?
Yes, children can get coronavirus and COVID-19. A new study adds to growing evidence that children are not immune to COVID-19 and may even play a larger role in community spread than previously thought. Kids who seem healthy may be more contagious than sick adults, according to the study.

Read more
Can you get infected with COVID-19 twice?
An otherwise healthy 25-year-old Nevada man is the first American confirmed to have caught COVID-19 twice, with the second infection worse than the first. He has recovered, but his case raises questions about how long people are protected after being infected with the coronavirus that causes the disease, and potentially how protective a vaccine might be. Respiratory infections like COVID-19 don't provide lifelong immunity like a measles infection.

Read more
How can I help protect my body from illness?
A balanced immune system is key. Here's how to strengthen your immune system this winter.

Read more
What is a long-hauler?
So-called 'long-haulers' are those who suffer through symptoms months after their initial COVID-19 diagnosis.

Read more
Why do so many COVID-19 patients lose their sense of smell?
Researchers found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, attacks the cells that support smell-detecting neurons but not the neurons themselves. That's good news because the loss of smell appears to be temporary.

Read more
Can coronavirus be spread through the air?
The CDC has updated its website to warn that the coronavirus can spread through the air, something public health experts have been warning about for months but went unacknowledged by the agency until October. The CDC says people can be exposed to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air for minutes to hours, potentially infecting people who are farther than 6 feet away and even people who come into the area after an infected person has left.

Read more
How long do COVID-19 symptoms last?
An unknown but growing number of the 4 million U.S. COVID-19 patients say they can't shake symptoms ranging from fatigue to serious respiratory or neurological problems, often for months after diagnosis. Research is limited on these so-called "long haulers." Here are some of their stories.

Read more
Will my children be OK after the pandemic?
USA TODAY spoke with more than a dozen experts. What we heard was children need what they always have: caregivers who are present and emotionally available. They need people to help them make sense of uncertainty and loss, who can help them navigate fear and change.

Read more
Does vaping or smoking matter when it comes to COVID-19?
A study has found that vaping is linked to an elevated risk of COVID-19 among teenagers and young adults, providing more evidence of the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes. Those who both vaped and traditionally smoked were nearly seven times more likely to become infected.

Read more
What do I need if I or someone in my family gets COVID-19?
It's more important than ever to be prepared if someone you live with gets sick. These are the ten things you need at home in case you or a family member gets COVID-19.

Read more
How do I care for someone with COVID-19?
Those who are infected and don’t require hospitalization are instructed to stay home, but that still leaves families and roommates vulnerable. So, what can one do to keep loved ones safe while recovering at home from COVID-19? And what can caregivers do to stay healthy? Here are some tips.

Read more
When should I call my doctor?
If you're exhibing sypmtoms, call your doctor immediately. Unless you are having critical problems, do not go into the nearest emergency department. Call your usual medical provider before seeking care. If you have a scheduled appointment sometime soon, call the doctor’s office to report you have symptoms of COVID-19. The doctor’s staff can then protect themselves and others in the office from infection.

Read more
Should I go to the ER? What about Urgent Care?
Unless you are having critical problems, do not go into the nearest emergency department. Call your usual medical provider before seeking care, and let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Health says “emergency warning signs” for COVID-19 in adults include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or an inability to wake up, or bluish lips or face.

Read more
Can I hang out with my family? Can I still go outside? Work?
If you think you might have coronavirus and are self-quarantined at home, stay in one room of your home, with one person at most taking care of you and use a separate bathroom, if you can. Limit your contacts even with people you live with.

Read more
What is the inflammatory illness affecting children? Is it related to COVID-19?
There is a mysterious inflammatory disease that has been affecting children. Doctors are calling the new ailment pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, and it shares some traits with Kawasaki, which typically afflicts children under 5 years old. Their common symptoms: prolonged fever, a rash, conjunctivitis, swelling of the palms or soles of the feet, sometimes peeling of the skin in those areas and lymph node enlargement. Here's what parents should know about this new COVID-related inflammatory disease.

Read more about the illness
Can dogs get coronavirus?
Buddy the German Shepherd was the first pet dog in the US to test positive for COVID-19. Buddy died in July.

Read more
Can vitamin D help with symptoms of COVID-19?
Research shows vitamin D helps prevent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a common killer in COVID-19 patients. But, before you rush to the store or add the supplements to your online checkout cart to combat COVID-19, it's important to know if you are vitamin D deficient.

Read more
Personal Finance

What happens if payments go from $600 to $2,000? How do I know if I'm getting a check?
We answer your questions about the new stimulus package.

See the questions and answers
What is the difference between this stimulus package and the previous one?
The new COVID-19 stimulus bill is half of March's. Here's how else it differs.

Read more
What career fields are growing despite the pandemic?
As the health crisis continues to rage across the country and more temporary job losses become permanent, a small but growing number of laid-off and working Americans in hard-hit industries like restaurants, retail and travel are switching to new careers or occupations. Many are transitioning to sectors that have thrived during the pandemic, such as technology, health care, real estate, banking, and warehousing and delivery.

Read more
Travel

Are there travel restrictions?
In response to a record number of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, some states are reimposing stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions ahead of the winter holidays.

Read more
Should I get a COVID-19 test before I travel?
The CDC urged Americans who go against its advice to avoid travel during the winter holidays to get tested for COVID-19 twice in a bid to make travel safer, though far from risk-free. The agency says travelers should get a viral test (PCR or rapid antigen test, not an antibody test) one to three days before travel and three to five days after travel, regardless of where they are headed.

Read more
Have the US borders with Canada and Mexico opened?
Due to the rise in COVID-19 coronavirus cases, the land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed through Jan. 21.

Read more
How do I stay safe if I go on vacation?
If you're planning a vacation during the pandemic, here is everything you need to know before you go, whether you're traveling by car or plane.

Read more
Do I have to wear a mask on planes or at the airport?
Airlines are tightening face mask rules after making masks mandatory onboard. Most major airlines have eliminated medical exemptions to the rule, and several are cracking down on the types of face coverings allowed. Also, currently, all airlines are insisting passengers wear a mask as soon as they step into the airport and to keep it on throughout the travel journey, except to briefly remove to drink or eat.

Read more
Schools

Should I be concerned about schools reopening?
As many school districts across the USA prepare to reopen campuses, some fear classrooms will become the next incubators for large coronavirus outbreaks. Here's a closer look at the risks.

Read more
How can parents protect their kids as schools reopen?
Here's what parents can do to ensure kids stay safe as they return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more
How safe is day care?
To help with parents' decisions on when and where to send their children back to day care, we spoke with three pediatric health experts to get some practical tips and questions to ask themselves and their child care providers.

Read the tips
What advice is there regarding virtual learning?
Online school doesn't have to be bad. And parents can make it better. As your school plans virtual instruction, here's what to ask about quality.

Read more
Rumors

I’ve heard a rumor about coronavirus? Is it true?
We have a team separating coronavirus facts from fiction.

Get the facts
Science News

Who might get vaccines first?
Expert panel recommends who should be first in line for COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more
When will children get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Children are not included in the ongoing trials for a COVID-19 vaccine, so it's likely to be well into next year or beyond before they'll be able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes the disease.

Read more
Are politics interfering with the vaccine?
Despite the public's legitimate concerns about political rhetoric, politics is not influencing the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, several public health experts testified to Congress.

Read more
What do horseshoe crabs have to do with the development of a coronavirus vaccine?
Horseshoe crabs have a vital role in the development of a coronavirus vaccine. The horseshoe crab's fluorescent blue blood is its best line of defense against toxins. For 40 years, humans have harnessed that same power to help keep us safe.

Read more
Are there COVID-19 tests to take at home?
Not yet. The FDA has opened the door to COVID-19 testing that could be fast, cheap and handled entirely at home – if companies don't find the rules too burdensome. Lab tests to detect the coronavirus are accurate, but they're often restricted to people who have COVID-19 symptoms. It often takes days to get results – by which point the person may have already infected others.

Read more
Help Others

How can I help others?
In times of crisis, a timeless quote from the late Fred Rogers tends to emerge again and again on social media: "Look for the helpers." Here's how to make an impact in your community with a few tangible actions.

Read more
Questions

Have we answered your coronavirus question?
We've recieved thousands of questions about coronavirus. There's a chance we may have already answered your question.

Check here
What else do you want to know about coronavirus?
There's a lot unknown about the virus, but there's also a lot we do know. We're answering your questions.

Submit them here
Connect

Join our Facebook group for the latest coronavirus news and connect with others.

Coronavirus Watch Facebook group
Sign up for our daily Coronavirus Watch newsletter and get daily updates.

Newsletter
We are answering your coronavirus questions. Submit them now.

Submit your questions
What's the matter?

💬 Comments

Thanks! Worked! 👍 🙏 🤩 💕 🥳 🔥 😍
👀 Related Deals