What You Need to Know
How it Spreads
Similar to how flu and other respiratory illnesses spread, the virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets, including:
- Through the air by coughing, sneezing, laughing, singing, and talking;
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; and
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands.
Prevent the Spread
It is important for our community to realize the potential risks of COVID-19 and how they can continue to take precautions everyday to prevent the spread in our community. If you spend time in public settings, please remember that our community is still facing a public health crisis and practice the following healthy behaviors to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe.
- If you are sick, stay home and avoid close contact with others, including members of your household.
- Practice social distancing by avoiding large crowds and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others who do not live in your household.
- Avoid large gatherings, crowds, and spending time in places that are not well-ventilated.
- Wear a face covering to protect others from your respiratory droplets in situations where you are unable to maintain a distance of six feet from others.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, including before, during, and after you return from your trip. If possible, bring alcohol-based hand rub to use when you do not have access to running water and soap.
- Cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze, by coughing and sneezing into your forearm.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often and allow them to air dry. If possible, pack disinfecting wipes to clean and disinfect objects and surfaces if you leave your home.
- Get vaccinated when the vaccine is available to you.
Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe illness, appearing two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Some people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning they do not show any symptoms. If someone is experiencing trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, or difficulty staying awake, they should seek medical care immediately. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
People at Increased Risk
People of any age can get COVID-19, even healthy young adults and children. Some people are more likely than others to become severely ill if they contract COVID-19, including:
Treatments used for COVID-19 should be prescribed by your healthcare provider. People infected with COVID-19 experiencing mild symptoms should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms, such as taking pain or fever medications, drinking plenty of fluids, and staying home and resting. Individuals who are experiencing severe symptoms should go to the hospital to get care.
Protect Yourself and Others
Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without any symptoms. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, have recently traveled to a high-risk area (see below), stay home for 10 days since the last date of exposure/travel and get tested approximately five to seven days after exposure/travel. Testing availability can be found here.
- A person who is 14 days beyond the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine
- A person who is within 90 days of a prior confirmed COVID-19 infection (after completing required isolation)
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or have symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home for 10 days (do not visit the store, stay away from household members, and do not invite others into your home) and.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and received a positive COVID-19 test:
- Stay at home until at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared; AND
- Stay at home until at least 24 hours have passed since any fever went away without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in other symptoms.
If you do NOT have symptoms but received a positive COVID-19 test:
- Stay at home until at least 10 days have passed since the date of your positive COVID-19 test, assuming you don’t develop symptoms.
Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. The City of Nashua recommends our community to postpone any non-essential travel, especially individuals with preexisting conditions, suppressed immune systems, and older adults as they are at increased risk of serious health complications from COVID-19.
If you travel, it is recommended that you stay home and monitor for symptoms of respiratory illness for 10 days after your last date of high-risk travel (to/from Canada, on a cruise ship, or outside of the New England). A negative test during quarantine does not mean it is safe to end quarantine early, you should complete the full 10 days. Exceptions include a person who is 14 days beyond the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine or a person who is within 90 days of a prior confirmed COVID-19 infection (after completing required isolation).
Visit the CDC's website for updated guidance for domestic and international travel.
Know Your Risk
We want you to know your risks during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of yourself, your family, and your community. The more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.
Individuals who are high risk or work with high-risk populations should avoid moderate, moderate-high, and high risk activities as COVID-19 can be spread easily and without symptoms.
If you engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions. Keep these items on hand when venturing out: a face covering, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Learn more about what factors to consider before heading out by visiting the CDC's website.