The updated COVID-19 vaccine for 2023 is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older by the CDC. These vaccines, which target the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant, are available in large commercial pharmacies but will not be offered by Transylvania Public Health at this time.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild or very severe; they include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Some of these symptoms can seem similar to allergies or other illnesses, but people who have any of these symptoms should also consider COVID-19 as a cause and seek testing either using an at-home test kit or from a healthcare provider.

Most people can recover from COVID-19 with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicines, but those who are at high risk for getting very sick should seek treatment from a healthcare provider that can reduce the chances of severe illness. Anyone who has trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, and nail beds should call 911 or seek emergency care immediately.

People with COVID-19 should stay home and separate from others for at least 5 days, then wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 more days. To protect others in the home, they should also take steps to improve ventilation, avoid sharing household items, and practice everyday hygiene and cleaning.

People who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask around others for 10 days, take extra precautions around people who are more likely to get very sick, watch for symptoms, and get tested at least 5 full days after the last exposure.

For more information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing, guidance, or vaccines, call 884-3135 during the health department’s normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm).