The COVID-19 coronavirus: What You Should Know

The COVID-19 coronavirus: What You Should Know

CURRENT STATUS

The City of Dover continues to monitor the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and urges residents to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Residents with concerns or questions about COVID-19 can call the state's COVID-19 hotline at 2-1-1, Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vaccines continue to be a critical tool to help curb the spread of COVID-19. To sign up for a vaccine, visit www.vaccines.gov, or see below for more information. 

According to the CDC's most recent guidance, fully vaccinated people can:

  • Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic; for some of these activities, they may choose to wear a mask.
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel and from self-quarantine after travel. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, and trains and anytime you are inside a transportation hub, such as an airport, train or bus station.
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.

What You Need to Know About Variants

  • New variants of the virus are expected to occur. Taking steps to reduce the spread of infection, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine, are the best way to slow the emergence of new variants.
  • Vaccines reduce your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for adults ages 12 and older. Teens 12–17 years old who received Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines can get a booster dose if they are at least 6 months post their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

To reduce their risk of becoming infected and potentially spreading it to others, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
  • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated. People who are at increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19, wear a well-fitting face mask around other people for 10 days, especially in indoor settings. If symptoms develop, stay home and get tested for COVID-19. Get tested for COVID-19 on day 5, even if you don't have symptoms.
  • Isolate if you have tested positive for COVID-19 for at least 5 days. Isolation can end after day 5 if you are fever-free and other COVID-19 symptoms are improving. For 10 days, wear a well-fitting face mask when around other people, avoid people who are immunocompromised or high-risk, and avoid travel.
  • Follow any applicable federal, state and local laws, rules, and regulations.

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, but only several types are known to commonly cause infections in people, with these common human coronaviruses usually causing mild to moderate respiratory illness (like the common cold). Newer human coronaviruses, like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and the COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms. The COVID-19 is originally thought to have spread from animals to humans, but person-to-person spread is widespread.

How is it spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet);
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

The virus may be spread in other ways:

  • By touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

This is similar to how influenza and other respiratory infections spread. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. The more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

What are the symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. 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 of body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you have traveled to/from countries with a COVID-19 Travel Advisory and develop symptoms of a fever or respiratory illness within 14 days of your travel, contact your health care provider before going to their office or the emergency department, and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms. You can also contact the NH Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496, if you have questions or concerns.

For the latest travel information and advisories, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

How can I protect myself and others?

There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick from viral respiratory infections, and help prevent transmitting infections to others, including:

  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19 and may prevent you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • If you are not vaccinated, cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. Masks are required any time you are traveling on a plane, bus, train, or other form of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home from work or school if you have a fever or are not feeling well.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu shot - it is not too late to be protected from flu.

Is there a treatment?

There are no specific antiviral treatments recommended for infection with the COVID-19. People infected with COVID-19 can receive supportive care at home to help relieve symptoms, such as taking pain or fever medications, drinking plenty of fluids, and staying home and resting. Some patients who are very sick may need to go to the hospital to get care.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.

Do I Need To Quarantine After Being Exposed to COVID-19?

If you are unvaccinated and have been identified as a household contact to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, then you are at risk of developing COVID-19 sometime in the 2-14 days after you were exposed. Follow these guidelines:

  • Stay home (quarantine) for 5 days after you were last exposed to a person with COVID-19.
  • Get tested 5 days after your exposure.
  • Monitor for symptoms (see list above).
  • Take care of yourself and reach out to your healthcare provider or seek emergency treatment if you have any concerns about your health.

You do NOT need to stay home (quarantine) for 5 days or get tested for COVID-19 if either of the following apply:

  • You are "up-to-date" on receiving all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses. A person is "up-to-date" on COVID-19 vaccination when they have completed a primary COVID-19 vaccine series (the single-dose J&J Janssen vaccine, or a 2-dose series of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine) AND any booster shots which they are eligible for and recommended to receive. CDC has information about staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination and who should get a booster shot.
  • You have previously tested positive for active COVID-19 infection (by PCR or antigen testing) in the last 90 days (if you had a previous infection that was more than 90 days ago, then you still need to follow all of these guidelines).

However, you still need to monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, practice social distancing, avoid social and other group gatherings, always wear a face mask when around other people, and practice good hand hygiene at all times.

Learn more: DHHS Isolation and Quarantine Recommendations for the General Public

When can I be vaccinated?

CDC recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. Vaccines are provided at no cost.

Why should children and teens be vaccinated for COVID-19?

Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 compared with adults, children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get very sick from COVID-19
  • Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with children without underlying medical conditions. Children who get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C)—a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

Where will I be able to get the vaccine?

Vaccines are readily available at your local pharmacy and should soon be available through your health care provider. Please speak with your health care provider if you have questions. 

To learn more, review the CDC Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination

Do I need a booster shot?

Everyone ages 12+ should get a booster dose at least 5 months after the last dose in their primary series.

  • Teens 12–17 should only get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose
  • Everyone 18+ should get a booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines)
You may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you receive as a booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster.

On March 29, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for a second mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. These updated recommendations acknowledge the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations including those who are elderly or over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.

Learn more about CDC recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots.


  • About the US COVID-19 Vaccination Program

    Here are key things you need to know about the new COVID-19 Vaccination Program and COVID-19 vaccines:

    • The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.
    • COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Two doses are needed for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. One dose is needed for the J&J Janssen vaccine.
    • After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.
    • Cost is not an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are recommended to get an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna).
    • COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.

    To learn more, visit the CDC vaccine website.

    Additional resources

    The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website provides updated information about the state's response to COVID-19. The page can be accessed at: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/

    Additional information, including advisories for travel, businesses and schools, can be found at the Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 page at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

    The Dover School District also provides updates about COVID-19 and the response by school officials here.