Skip to main content
The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Coronavirus

Coronavirus: What You Should Know

The following information is available from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention

How COVID-19 Spreads

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Prevention

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Symptoms

According to the CDC, the following symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

Seek medical advice if you

  • Develop symptoms

AND

  • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

What to Do If You Are Sick With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever1 and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact2 with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

CDC Coronavirus Resources

Facts about the Coronavirus

Travel Information

Answering 20 Questions about COVID-19

 

FEMA Coronavirus Resource

Coronavirus Rumor Control

 

Small Business Coronavirus Resource

SC 16352 - SBA (US Small Business Administation) Offers Disaster Assistance to South Carolina Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SC Department of Commerce Resource Center

 

South Carolina DHEC Resources

Coronavirus Disease 2019

Retail Food Service Establishments

 

Coronavirus and SC Schools

SC Public Schools Closed Through End of April

SC Public Schools Closed Through March 31

Meal Distribution Sites

U.S. Department of Education Approves South Carolina Assessment Suspension Waiver