How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.

COVID-19 may also be spread by a person touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. This is not thought to be the main way this virus is spreading.

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads very easily between people in the following ways:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (generally being within 6 feet (2 meters) for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over the course of 24 hours).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby or be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Health experts are still learning more about the spread and severity of illness COVID-19 causes.

Show All Answers

1. What is COVID-19?
2. How does COVID-19 spread?
3. How severe is COVID-19?
4. What are the symptoms?
5. When do I seek medical evaluation and advice?
6. How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
7. How is COVID-19 treated?
8. I may have been exposed to coronavirus. What do I do?
9. Should I wear a face mask in public?
10. Who should get tested?
11. What has changed about testing availability?
12. Where can I get tested?
13. Can individuals visit Placer County Public Health and test for coronavirus?
14. I do not have health insurance and do not have a doctor. If I think I have contracted COVID-19, what do I do?
15. What is a quarantine and why is it used?
16. Is quarantine different from isolation?
17. How does self-quarantine work?
18. Can people in self-quarantine still have contact with their household members?
19. What is the current situation in California and Placer County?
20. What can I do to prepare for COVID-19?
21. What is Public Health recommending to help contain the spread of COVID-19?
22. Can you tell me more about what areas to avoid?
23. What should I do if someone known to be exposed with coronavirus visits our facility?
24. Where can I get an antibody test?
25. How can I contribute to help those impacted by COVID-19?
26. How can I access food, mental health, unemployment or other resources?
27. What are antigen tests? Is it required to retest negative results with a PCR test?