Updated October 17, 2022

We are here to provide you with the latest resources and answer frequently asked questions about COVID-19.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause a range of symptoms including a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Some are mild, such as the common cold, while others are more likely to lead to pneumonia. They're usually spread through direct contact with an infected person. Other well-known coronaviruses include SARS and MERS. The new virus is called COVID-19.

The evidence suggests person-to-person transmission most commonly happens during close exposure to a person infected with COVID-19, primarily through respiratory droplets produced when the infected person coughs or sneezes. Droplets can land in the mouths, noses or eyes of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs of those within close proximity.

Once infected with coronavirus, there is an incubation period of 2-14 days. During this time, patients may be able to shed the virus but do not have any symptoms. Some patients will never develop symptoms. Of those who become ill, the majority of patients will develop fever, cough, and generalized malaise. They may have muscle aches or a sore throat. Loss of sense of taste and smell is another symptom that is unique to COVID infection. Most patients will recover, but some patients will develop more severe illness, including a viral pneumonia that can lead to respiratory failure and even death. Symptoms to watch for include fever, cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, body aches, sore throat or vomiting.

Patients with any symptoms of COVID-19 or patients with exposure to COVID-19 should be tested. Tests have become widely available and include home tests available at retail stores and tests within healthcare settings. Within the hospital, patients with symptoms of COVID-19 infection will be tested to determine if their symptoms are due to COVID-19. Self-testing can be done at home both if symptomatic, or if asymptomatic following an exposure or prior to a group gathering.

Full vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 and any subvariants. Full vaccination is defined as receiving all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. Individuals not fully vaccinated and within two weeks from receiving the last vaccine/booster dose should continue to mask.

Due to the risk for breakthrough infections, the CDC recommends masking for vaccinated individuals in communities with substantial or high transmissibility when indoors or outdoors and unable to socially distance. To find the rate of transmissibility in your area, view the CDC map.

If you would like to schedule a vaccination appointment, please visit the links below.

Current Patients
General Public

If you live on the Eastern Shore, please call (757) 442-6600 to schedule your vaccine appointment.

If you don't see an appointment that is convenient for you, check back. We add new appointments as we get new shipments of vaccines.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly changing, and new variants of the virus are expected to occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Numerous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are being tracked in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

How do variants work?
If you think about a virus like a tree growing and branching out; each branch on the tree is slightly different than the others. By comparing the branches, scientists can label them according to the differences. These small differences, or variants, have been studied and identified since the beginning of the pandemic.
Some variations allow the virus to spread more easily or make it resistant to treatments or vaccines. Those variants must be monitored more carefully.

How can variants change?
As the virus spreads, it has new opportunities to change and may become more difficult to stop. These changes can be monitored by comparing differences in physical traits (such as resistance to treatment) or changes in genetic code (mutations) from one variant to another.

What if someone I care for may have COVID-19?
If someone in your home is sick or someone who has COVID-19 has been in your home in the last 24 hours, clean and disinfect your home. Disinfecting removes germs and reduces their spread. Caregivers should stay home and monitor their health for COVID-19 symptoms while caring for the person who is sick. Please see our recommendations on caring for yourself and others.

Who is at higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19?
The risk of severe COVID-19 increases as the number of underlying medical conditions increases in a person. The CDC is advising people who are at higher risk to get the COVID-19 vaccines (initial doses and boosters) and preventive measures for COVID-19 are important, especially if you are older or have multiple or severe health conditions including those listed below.

• Cancer
• Chronic kidney disease
• Chronic liver disease
• Chronic lung diseases:
• Dementia or other neurological conditions
• Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
• Down syndrome
• Heart conditions
• HIV infection
• Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
• Mental health conditions
• Overweight and obesity
• Pregnancy
• Smoking, current or former
• Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
• Substance use disorders
• Tuberculosis

Is there a treatment?
On December 22, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms or about 88 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. Paxlovid is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset. Supplies of Paxlovid are currently limited and regulated by the government”.

Paxlovid is not authorized for the pre-exposure or post-exposure prevention of COVID-19 or for initiation of treatment in those requiring hospitalization due to severe or critical COVID-19. Paxlovid is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination and a booster dose are recommended.
Where can I get more information?

Learn more by visiting the CDC’s website.