Cases are high right now. Here’s how you can protect yourself and others:
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid crowds.
- Wear a cloth face mask when you go out in public.
- Limit physical contact with others not in your household.
- Plan to get vaccinated.
- Download the COVID Alert PA mobile app.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Do not use your hands.
- If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
In Pennsylvania, masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.
When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to remain physically distant (at least 6 feet away) from someone not in your household the entire time you are outdoors.
When indoors, masks are required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. This means that even if you are able to be 6 feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if with people other than members of your household.
This applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.
Members of the public should wear homemade cloth or fabric masks and save surgical masks and N95 respirators for health care workers and first responders.
Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure and can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.
Priorities for testing in Pennsylvania include:
Hospitalized individuals with COVID-19 symptoms
- All other individuals with COVID-19 symptoms
- Close contacts of confirmed cases who are asymptomatic Individuals who are asymptomatic (having no symptoms of COVID 19), who fall into one of the following categories contingent upon the disease prevalence rate in their community:
- Live in congregate care facilities
- Are health care workers who have frequent interactions with the public
- Work in congregate care facilities
- Provide care to an elderly person or person with a disability in the home
- Work in emergency services
- Work in child protective and adult protective services
- Work in a correctional facility
- Provide compassionate care and hospice services
- Are being discharged from a hospital to a lower level of care
People who are asymptomatic and fall into one of the following categories (contingent upon the disease prevalence rate in their community):
- Patients requiring pre-operative/pre-hospital admission screening
- Work in retail or manufacturing and have frequent interactions with the public
- Work in agricultural or food manufacturing and have frequent interactions with the public
- Work in public transportation and have frequent interactions with the public
- Work in education and have frequent interactions with students or the public
You need to get tested, regardless of the presence of symptoms.
Close contacts are people who have been within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes.
You will need to quarantine for 10 days after your last exposure to an infected person or a seven-day quarantine with a negative test on or after Day 5 of quarantine.
If you have symptoms, self-isolate in your home until each of the following conditions are met:
- It has been at least ten days since your symptoms first appeared AND
- It has been at least one day since you have not had a fever (without using fever-reducing medications) and your respiratory symptoms are improving
If you do not develop symptoms, self-isolate in your home until it has been at least 10 days since the day your test specimen was collected.
Monitor your symptoms. If they get worse, contact your physician or a nearby urgent care center.
Notify your close contacts and let them know they will need to quarantine at home. This includes your family members. Close contacts should monitor their health for any symptoms for the full 14 days after exposure.
Keep a phone nearby so that you can answer the call and participate fully in your confidential case investigation for contact tracing.
If you develop emergency symptoms (trouble breathing, chest pain, bluish lips, new confusion) seek immediate care by calling 911.
More post-testing guidance.
Right now we are in Phase 1 of the COVID vaccine rollout. The following Pennsylvanians are eligible:
- Adults 65+
- Health care workers
- People with certain pre-existing conditions
- Long-term care facility residents
Check your eligibility status and get more information:
Check for a location near you that has vaccine supply and connect with your provider of choice to set up an appointment or get on a wait list.
Please be aware that there may not be any vaccine available in your area. Supplies are extremely limited right now and are provided to Pennsylvania by the federal government.
Use the COVID-19 Complaint Form to document your public health concern. You may report anonymously.
Pennsylvania has in place several resources for those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic — including Unemployment Compensation, financial assistance, food help, mental health tools, and more.
Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
As of March 1, 2021, the travel order requiring testing and quarantine is no longer in effect. Travelers should still practice appropriate public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene.
Pennsylvania is stepping up enforcement on out-of-state travel, mask-wearing, business safety, restaurant mitigation, gathering limits, and more.
It’s normal to feel anxiety around the COVID pandemic, but if you feel like these feelings are interfering with everyday life, it might be time to seek out help.
Report price gouging to the Attorney General via the price gouging complaint form.
Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) for assistance if you have other questions or concerns.