COVID 19 Facts, Definitions, and FAQs

What is COVID 19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as COVID and the coronavirus, is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.  The disease has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic. 

COVID 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. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. 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

Who should test for COVID?

A viral test checks specimens from your nose or your mouth to find out if you are currently infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Viral tests can be performed in a laboratory, at a testing site, or at home.

The following people should get tested for COVID-19:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID 19.
  • People who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
    • People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
    • People who are not fully vaccinated should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine.
  • People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who are prioritized for expanded community screening for COVID-19.
  • People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who have been asked or referred to get testing by their school, workplace, healthcare provider or local health department.

The following people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not need to get tested if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms:

How to get tested for COVID

  • Request a testing appointment at any of our Wellness Home locations by clicking HERE.
  • Visit your state, county, or city health department's website to look for the latest local information on testing.
  • Visit your healthcare or public health department clinic provider to get a self-collection kit or self-test

What to do if you test positive for COVID

If you test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, take the following steps to protect others regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status: Isolate at home and isolate away from others for at least 10 days.

  • If you do not have any symptoms, you should still isolate at home for at least 10 days.
  • If you develop symptoms, continue to isolate for at least 10 days after symptoms began as long as symptoms have improved, and no fever is present for at least 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Most people have mild COVID-19 illness and can recover at home without medical care.
  • Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you are more likely to get very sick because of being an older adult or having underlying medical conditions or if your symptoms get worse.

Talk to your healthcare provider or local health department to find out how long to isolate if you:

  • Are severely ill with COVID-19 or have a weakened immune system;
  • Had a positive test result followed by a negative result; or
  • Test positive for many weeks after the initial result.

What if I test negative for COVID?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • You may have received a false negative test result and still might have COVID-19. You should isolate away from others.
  • Contact your healthcare provider about your symptoms, especially if they worsen, about follow-up testing, and how long to isolate.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, and  you were exposed to a person with COVID-19:

  • You are likely not infected, but you still may get sick.
  • Self-quarantine at home for 14 days after your exposure.
    • Persons who are fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine do not need to self-quarantine at home
      • For residents of non-healthcare congregate settings (e.g. correctional and detention facilities, group homes) and employees of residential congregate settings and high-density workplaces (e.g. meat and poultry processing and manufacturing plants), refer to CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated people.
  • Contact your local health department regarding options to reduce the length of quarantine. If symptoms develop during home quarantine:
    • Contact your healthcare provider about follow-up testing; and
    • Isolate at home separated away from others.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19:

  • You do not need to self-quarantine.

Vaccines:  

Are Vaccines Safe?  In a word, YES.  Baal Perazim Wellness & Health Services follows CDC best practices regarding COVID vaccines, and has full confidence in the following statements:

  • COVID-19 vaccines were developed using science that been around for decades.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe—much safer than getting COVID-19.
  • COVID 19-vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19 and limiting the spread of the virus that causes it.

"Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can."  For more details on vaccine safety, click HERE.

How Vaccines Work

To understand how COVID-19 vaccines work, it helps to first look at how our bodies fight illness. When germs, such as the virus that causes COVID-19, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes illness. Our immune system uses several tools to fight infection. Blood contains red cells, which carry oxygen to tissues and organs, and white or immune cells, which fight infection. Different types of white blood cells fight infection in different ways:

  • Macrophages are white blood cells that swallow up and digest germs and dead or dying cells. The macrophages leave behind parts of the invading germs, called “antigens”. The body identifies antigens as dangerous and stimulates antibodies to attack them.
  • B-lymphocytes are defensive white blood cells. They produce antibodies that attack the pieces of the virus left behind by the macrophages.
  • T-lymphocytes are another type of defensive white blood cell. They attack cells in the body that have already been infected.

The first time a person is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, it can take several days or weeks for their body to make and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to get over the infection. After the infection, the person’s immune system remembers what it learned about how to protect the body against that disease.

The body keeps a few T-lymphocytes, called “memory cells,” that go into action quickly if the body encounters the same virus again. When the familiar antigens are detected, B-lymphocytes produce antibodies to attack them. Experts are still learning how long these memory cells protect a person against the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness.  

Different types of vaccines work in different ways to offer protection. But with all types of vaccines, the body is left with a supply of “memory” T-lymphocytes as well as B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that virus in the future.

It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. Therefore, it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.

Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity.

Vaccines At A Glance

Pfizer-BioNTech

People 12 years and older

2 shots, Given 3 weeks (21 days) apart [ 2 ]

Fully vaccinated:  2 weeks after your second shot

Moderna

People 18 years and older

2 shotsGiven 4 weeks (28 days) apart [ 2 ]

Fully vaccinated: 2 weeks after your second shot

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

People 18 years and older

1 shot

2 weeks after your shot


To request a vaccination appointment, please click HERE to be taken to our COVID Vaccination platform.


A Note about Breakthrough Infections

While there is much to be grateful for now that several vaccines have been proven to be extremely successful in stopping the spread of COVID-19, it is important to remember that NO vaccine is 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. While more than 115 million Americans have been fully vaccinated by May 10, 2021, a small number of these fully vaccinated people will still get sick, become hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.

 While current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most SARS-CoV-2 variants currently circulating in the United States, those variants will cause some vaccine breakthrough cases. It is the nature of a virus to evolve, and while the vaccination efforts have been very successful, we will see a small percentage of breakthrough infections.

That is why COVID testing is still important, even for fully vaccinated individuals. If you or your family find yourselves in any of the following situations, we recommend you continue to get tested:

  • Working in crowded environments
  • Attending events
  • Preparing to/returning from travel
  • Healthcare or eldercare provider