What is COVID-19

Share & Bookmark, Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Galveston County's COVID-19 Community Level is Low

Take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If you are at a high risk for severe illness, talk to you doctor about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions.*
    * You may choose to wear a face mask at any time. Those with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a face mask. 

COVID-19 vaccine information

COVID-19 primary series vaccines are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older, and booster doses for everyone eligible ages 5 years and older.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection.  People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters.

Please visit our COVID-19 vaccine page for vaccine availability, FAQs and more.  COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to monitor the latest data.

What is COVID-19? 

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people can become severely ill. Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Older people who have certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and effective. 

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch.

Anyone infected with COVID-19 can spread it, even if they do NOT have symptoms.

Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms can include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

Prevention of COVID-19

Vaccination is the best tool we have to protect people and communities from COVID-19.

Like any vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines do not stop 100 percent of cases. But people who are up to date on their vaccines are less likely to be infected. They are also better protected from severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Galveston County Health District encourages the voluntary use of masks, along with other actions, as prevention against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

Wearing a well-fitting mask in indoor public spaces, regardless of your vaccination status, can help protect you and everyone close to you. Some businesses may have mask preferences for their employees and customers.

Other precautions you can take include: washing your hands with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes, disinfect often touched surfaces and socially distance.

What should I do if I think I may be sick?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider the following options:

What to do if you are sick with COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID‑19 may show up 2‑14 days after exposure. The steps you should take if you think you are sick with COVID‑19 depend on whether you have a higher risk of developing severe illness.

High-Risk Individuals:

General Population:

  • If you are in generally good health and have mild symptoms, stay home and take care of yourself like you would for a cold or the flu.
  • If symptoms worsen, call your doctor.

If you need help finding a doctor or accessing medical care, call 2‑1‑1 and they can direct you to low- or no-cost providers in your area.