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As of March 6, this page has been updated to align with new CDC recommendations. This guidance does not apply to health care workers, long-term care facilities or other health care settings such as hospitals.

Learn more on guidance updates from CDC


People with COVID-19 may have a wide range of symptoms, including no symptoms at all, mild or moderate symptoms, or needing medical attention for severe illness. Even people with no symptoms can spread the virus to others. Common symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses can include fever, chills, fatigue, cough, runny nose and headache.

Read more on symptoms (CDC)

What to Do if You Are Sick 

If you are feeling sick with respiratory virus symptoms: 

  • Avoid contact with others, including people you live with who are not sick.
  • Consider testing for COVID-19 to help you decide if you need to take more steps to protect yourself and others.
  • Talk to a health care provider about treatment and other options if you are at risk of getting very sick or your symptoms get worse. Groups at higher risk for severe illness include young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, people who are pregnant, and people with disabilities.  

Returning to Normal Activities

You can still spread the virus to others, even if you are feeling better. If you develop a fever or start to feel worse, avoid contact with others again until you feel better. 

Your work place, school or child care program may have different return policies. Please check with those organizations directly to learn more.

You can go back to your normal activities after at least one day (24 hours) if:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall


  • You have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (and are not using fever-reducing medicines).

After returning to normal activities, take extra prevention steps for the next 5 days. 

Any of these prevention steps can help limit the spread of respiratory viruses. The more steps you take, the lower your risk of getting others sick. 

  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, cover your coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect surfaces as much as possible. 
  • Keep physical distance with other people as much as possible.
  • Improve air quality. Take additional steps for cleaner air such as bringing in fresh outside air, using an air filter, or gathering outdoors. 
  • Wear a mask. Look for a well-fitting, high-quality mask, or a disposable mask under a cloth mask. 
  • Consider testing for COVID-19. Testing can help you decide if you need to take more steps to protect yourself and others. Even if you test negative for COVID-19, if you are sick with another respiratory virus you can still spread it to others.

Learn more at CDC 

If You Have Been Around Someone with Symptoms of a Respiratory Virus

Respiratory viruses most often spread through the air from an infected person when they breathe, talk, cough or sneeze. The closer you are to someone who has a respiratory virus, the more likely you are to get sick. 

If you recently spent time with someone who is sick with a respiratory virus, including COVID-19: 

  • See if you develop symptoms, even if mild. 
  • Consider testing for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms.
  • You might want to take extra protective steps, especially if you or the people around you are at higher risk of getting very sick or if you are unsure if they are at higher risk.  

Treatment for COVID-19

Some people are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. If you are age 50 or older or have a medical condition that may put you at risk, reach out to your health care provider to ask about treatment as soon as you get a positive test result.

Don’t delay—treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.

People at higher risk should speak to their doctor about treatment even if vaccinated or experiencing mild symptoms. By getting treatment, you could have less serious symptoms and may lower the chances of your illness getting worse and needing care in the hospital.

Learn more about COVID-19 treatments and medications (CDC) 


Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people continue to experience new, returning or ongoing symptoms that can last months after first being infected. These post-COVID conditions are also known as long COVID, long-haul COVID or post-acute COVID.  As of July 2021, long COVID can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please contact your health care provider if you are experiencing long COVID symptoms.

Learn more about Long COVID
Find help at COVID-19 Recovery Program (UVM Health Network)

Translated Videos and Factsheets

Find more COVID-19 translations 
COVID-19 resources for people who are deaf and hard of hearing
See if you qualify for COVID-19 funeral cost assistance (FEMA)

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