COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a disease caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2 and was discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is contagious and can quickly spread around the world. Learn more about the Basics of COVID-19 and review the COVID-19 Timeline.
What is Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization and declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, as a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Public Health Role
The Tulsa Health Department (THD) along with Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) closely monitored the outbreak and implemented infection control and isolation protocols to prevent the spread of illness in Oklahoma.
May 11, 2023 marked the end of the federal COVID-19 PHE declaration shifting the COVID-19 pandemic into an endemic stage. View What This Means to You.
Watch for symptoms
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- 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
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
When to seek emergency medical attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
What to do if Sick
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow public health recommendations for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
In addition to basic health and hygiene practices, like handwashing, CDC recommends some prevention actions at all COVID-19 Community Levels, which include:
- Staying Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines
- Improving Ventilation
- Getting Tested for COVID-19 If Needed
- Following Recommendations for What to Do If You Have Been Exposed
- Staying Home If You Have Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
- Seeking Treatment If You Have COVID-19 and Are at High Risk of Getting Very Sick
- Avoiding Contact with People Who Have Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
What to Do If You Were Exposed to COVID-19
If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 or have been told by a healthcare provider or public health authority that you were exposed, there are steps that you should take, regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection.
This information is intended for a general audience. Healthcare professionals should see Ending Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19. This CDC guidance is meant to supplement—not replace—any federal, state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
If you have COVID-19, you can spread the virus to others. There are precautions you can take to prevent spreading it to others: isolation, masking, and avoiding contact with people who are at high risk of getting very sick. Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.
Isolation or Quarantine: What's the difference?
Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from 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 feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
Isolation is used to separate people infected with a virus or disease away from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).