Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

CDPHE: General Questions and Answers

How does COVID-19 compare to the flu?

The virus seems to be a lot more contagious than the seasonal flu. People can spread COVID-19 before they are symptomatic. Therefore, social distancing is important – you can spread it long before you know you have it.

What is the difference between self-isolation and quarantine?

Quarantine and isolation are two words often used when describing methods taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. While you may think the words are similar, they have very different meanings and actions associated with them.

Many of the actions you may have been asked to take — practice physical distancing, only leave your home for essential activities, avoid groups of more than 10 — all revolved around the idea of quarantining. Quarantine is a measure that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), separates and restricts movement of those who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Quarantine is no longer recommended. When you have been notified of an exposure to COVID-19, the CDC recommends masking for 10 days and getting tested if you develop symptoms.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation is a way to separate those who’ve tested positive with COVID-19 from those who haven’t. Isolation can be voluntary, but the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment is the legal authority to issue isolation orders to people who are sick.

As viruses need human beings to survive and replicate, both quarantining and isolation are effective techniques in lessening the impact of COVID-19.


Testing Questions

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

Anyone who has symptoms or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to:

  • Call or email a health care provider first.
  • Do not go to an emergency room to get a test for COVID-19 unless you are a having a medical emergency.
  • Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are having a medical emergency.
  • A doctor order is required to receive testing and patient must have photo identification that matches the name on the provider’s order.
  • Listen to health care provider’s advice regarding testing procedures.

Current treatment for COVID-19 is rest, recovery and self-isolation at home. About 80% of people who become ill will recover on their own.

Prevention and Treatment Questions

Are there medicines to prevent or treat COVID-19?

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recommends vaccination to prevent COVID-19. For more on vaccination in Weld County, visit our COVID-19 Vaccines web page.

Treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 if you get sick. Treatments must be started within days of when you first develop symptoms to be effective. The FDA has authorized antiviral medications to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in people who are more likely to get sick. For updated information on antiviral medications available to treat COVID-19, reference the CDC’s COVID-19 Treatments and Medications web page and our Treatment Options web page.

The Health Department recommends speaking with your health care provider regarding treatments and medications if you are sick with COVID-19.

Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating COVID-19?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. COVID-19 is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over my body kill COVID-19?

No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or your eyes and mouth. Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.

Can hair dryers or hand dryers kill COVID-19?

No. Hand dryers are not effective in killing COVID-19. To protect yourself against COVID-19, you should frequently clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer.

Does Weather Affect the Virus?

Can cold weather kill COVID-19?

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill COVID-19 or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 96.5°F to 98°F, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself is by frequently washing your hands with soap and water. 

Will warm weather stop the outbreak?

It is not yet known if weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer.

Food Safety Questions

Can I get COVID-19 from food takeout or a drive-through?

There is no evidence that takeout or drive-through meals will increase chance of getting COVID-19. This option is a good risk management choice, especially for high risk and elderly groups because it helps maintain physical distancing. There is also no evidence that food delivered to your home will increase the chance of contracting the virus. Similar to takeout, food delivery helps maintain physical distancing and reduces the number of times food and packaging is touched between preparation and serving. Many delivery programs have also instituted no touch and no interaction options, further reducing risk.

If you happen to consume food that is contaminated with COVID-19, your stomach acid should kill the virus. Even if your stomach acid doesn’t kill the virus, there is no evidence the virus can start infecting people through their gastrointestinal tract. The only possible way to get sick is if, during eating, the virus encounters a specific type of respiratory cell. However, this scenario is highly unlikely and shouldn’t be of concern given what is known about how the virus is transmitted.

Current evidence shows the biggest risk of transmission of COVID-19 is being around individuals who are symptomatic (and to a lesser extent, infected but not showing symptoms.) Food businesses should be following employee health policies and health department recommendations to keep these individuals home.

Can COVID-19 be spread through refrigerated or frozen food?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

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. In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Pet and Animal Safety Questions

Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

There is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.

Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick, like canine and feline coronaviruses. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands and maintain good hygiene.

If I'm sick with COVID-19, should I stay away from pets and animals?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact. It is recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets. Pets infected with this virus may or may not get sick. Serious illness in pets is very rare. If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet gets sick, do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and discuss the best plan of action to take.

Can I get COVID-19 from a mosquito bite?

To date there has been no information or evidence to suggest COVID-19 could be transmitted by mosquitoes. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with soap and water. Also, avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing and sneezing.

Cleaning and Disinfection Questions

How do I properly clean household surfaces? How do I properly clean household surfaces?

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for (concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:

  • If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.
  • Otherwise, use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are suitable for porous surfaces

How do I disinfect clothing and linens?

How do I disinfect clothing and linens?

Do not shake dirty laundry; this minimizes the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air. Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance for hard or soft surfaces.

How do i properly disinfect electronics in my home?

How do I properly disinfect electronics in my home?

For electronics such as cell phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards, remove visible contamination if present.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
  • Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.
  • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Miscellaneous Questions

How-do-I-protect-myself-from-scammers.jpg How do I protect myself from scammers?

Here are some tips to help you keep COVID-19 scammers at bay:

  • Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls instead.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the COVID-19 — online or in stores. Currently, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for COVID-19.
  • Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources.