Covid-19 Instructions for the Public

What are the symptoms of COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS ?

Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Patients have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

How does COVID-19 spread ?

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person and can spread before people show symptoms.
  • Between people within about 6 feet of each other.
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Possibly by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

How can I prevent COVID-19 ?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaner.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of some one in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with sop and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. 

For information about hand-washing, see CDC’s Hand washing website.

For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses, CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

What to do if I think I may have COVID-19 ?

If you are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and you have traveled to infected countries, been exposed to a sick traveler, or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you should contact your healthcare provider. Be sure to call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has established a COVID-19 Call Center and an email box to receive incoming questions from the general public. 


                                                       DSHS COVID-19 Call Center: 877.570.9779
                                                                Hours: 7 a.m-6 p.m., Monday- Friday

For the Most Up-To-Date and Detailed Information: