How It Spreads

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

HOWITSPREADS

Person-to-person 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.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

*Content sources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
New Jersey COVID-19 Information
World Health Organization

How It Spreads

What is known about the ways in which COVID-19 is easily spread and transmitted.

Protection Tips

Advice from the CDC on how to protect yourself and others to lower the risk of infection and minimize the spread.

Symptoms

CDC information on what the symptoms are, when to get tested and when to seek medical assistance.

If You Are Sick

Advice on what steps to take when illness is present, provided by covid19.nj.gov

NJ Testing

Testing centers are open in NJ.  Follow this link to the testing centers page at covid19.nj.gov

Mythbusters

Some Covid-19 misconceptions explained by the World Health Organization.