Facts about COVID-19


Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

When Should I Call My Health Care Provider or Local Clinic?

If you have been around someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Getting a test can determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.

Graph highlighting the different symptoms between COVID-19, Flu, Common Cold, and allergies Opens in new windowCOVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: 

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Use the Colorado COVID Symptom Support tool to report your symptoms and help public health build a better picture of how COVID-19 is spreading in Colorado. Read more about what to do if you are sick.

Watch For Symptoms And Emergency Warning Signs

Pay attention to potential COVID-19 symptoms. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your healthcare provider or local clinic. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:

Get emergency care immediately by calling 911 or going to the emergency room, if you or someone you know has COVID-19 emergency warning signs:

  • trouble breathing
  • persistent chest pain
  • new confusion
  • inability to wake or stay awake
  • bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. 

Should I Get Tested?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or been around someone with COVID-19, you can get tested by going to a testing location. You can also call a healthcare provider, clinic, or hospital. The provider will give you instructions on where to go for care and testing.

If instructed to seek care, follow the precautionary advice of the healthcare provider before going to any health facility. For more information, review the state's testing standards

How Does COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. The virus is thought to spread 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. 

Review the CDC’s guidance on Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities.

What Is COVID-19?

A respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What Is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.