Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about COVID-19 Coronavirus

Page updated 01/18/2022.  Please check this page often for updated information.  If you do not find the information you are looking for below, please call the ECDOH COVID-19 Information Line at (716) 858-2929.

The CDC has resources in multiple languages

What is COVID-19?

  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.  For the latest information, go to CDC COVID-19 website.   

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms which include:

  • Fever 
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell    
  • Diarrhea      
  • Some people can have severe complications. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread from person to person mainly 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 is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). See CDC How COVID-19 Spreads.   

How can I help protect myself?

What should I do if I have been in contact with someone that has symptoms of COVID-19?

What should I do if I get symptoms of COVID-19?

How do I get tested for COVID-19?  

Is there a vaccine or treatment?

  • Yes.  See COVID-19 Vaccine page.  Speak to your healthcare provider for treatment information. 

What cleaning products should I use?

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks).  See Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home and it is recommended to use EPA-registered household disinfectants.  Follow the instructions on the label (such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use) to ensure safe and effective use of the product.  

Where do I find information about travel?

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Where can I find information about COVID-19 and Pregnancy?

Where can I find information about COVID-19 and Animals?

Where can I find community resources?

Additional Information

Use reliable, fact-based sources when seeking out information about COVID-19 and other public health topics. We recommend the following sites.

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations