Understanding COVID-19

Understanding COVID-19 can be difficult for some. We have created this plain language flier to illustrate the basics of the disease, symptoms and treatment for any audience.



Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever or chills
  • Respiratory symptoms, such as dry cough or shortness of breath 
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Keep in mind, many people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and are able to recover at home.

What to do if you might have been exposed


If you think you’ve been exposed…

If you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, quarantine for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, you may want to get tested at that time.


If you’ve been exposed to someone who has a confirmed case…

Self-quarantine for 14 days (avoid contact with others). Call your primary care provider if you experience symptoms.

What to do if you have symptoms


If you think you have COVID-19

Call First. Stay home and call your doctor’s office or Ohio State Telehealth Immediate Care at 614-293-3200.

They can advise you on whether you need medical care. If you do need care, wear a face mask when you leave your home, if you have one available.


If you are experiencing symptoms...

Stay Home. Don’t go into work. Avoid spreading virus to others.

Contact your primary care physician. If you don't have one, call the Ohio State Telehealth Immediate Care at 614-293-3200


Get medical attention immediately if you experience:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

How to prevent COVID-19 from spreading


Stay home when you’re sick

Avoid close contact

Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals


Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you sneeze or cough

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use 60% alcohol hand rub


Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

Clean AND disinfect "high-touch" surfaces often


Practice safe social distance

“Social distancing” keeps sick people from coming into contact with healthy people. During a pandemic like COVID-19, everyone should practice as much social distancing as possible and take other preventive measures to help stop the spread of disease.

What if I’m experiencing a medical emergency not related to COVID-19?

If you are experiencing a medical emergency such as being unable to breathe, a heart attack or a stroke, please call 9-1-1. Delaying emergency care can worsen health outcomes. We are ready to provide you with safe and expert care.