How COVID-19 Spreads

  • COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly the same way the common cold or flu spreads–through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
  • People who are most at risk becoming infected with COVID-19 are those who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) with someone who has the disease.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with COVID-19, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
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