Some parts of the country are seeing a new hike in the number of COVID-19 cases, but experts are unsure whether this means there could be a surge of cases this winter. The U.S. is still averaging more than 38,000 reported cases a day, with more than 26,000 people hospitalized and as many as 360 deaths reported every day.
Overall, more than 97 million cases have been reported in the U.S., and more than a million people have died.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months of age and older, as well as boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible. So far, only about 4% of people eligible to be vaccinated have gotten the vaccines and about half of those eligible for a booster haven’t gotten one. Find out where you can get your vaccine here.
TESTING AND ISOLATION If you have COVID-19 symptoms, test immediately. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
Call 911 if anyone for anyone who shows these symptoms: trouble breathing, persistent pain or chest pressure, new confusion, the inability to wake or stay awake, and pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
If you test positive, the CDC recommends you do the following:
- Stay home for five days and isolate from others in your home. Don’t leave your home, except to get medical care. Avoid public places and do not go where you are unable to wear a mask.
- Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
- Stay in touch with your doctor.
- Do not travel and avoid public transportation.
- As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, use a separate bathroom.
- Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or two days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive.
LONG COVID Some people who have had COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as post-COVID conditions or long COVID. These effects can last for weeks, or even months. Sometimes the symptoms go away, only to return. Symptoms of long COVID include:
- Tiredness that interferes with daily life
- Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness when you stand up
- Pins-and-needles feelings
- Change in smell or taste
- Depression or anxiety
- Stomach pain
- Joint or muscle pain
- Changes in menstrual cycles
Talk to your doctor if you think you or your child has long COVID or a post-COVID condition.