What is coronavirus or COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new respiratory illness, discovered in 2019.. It is transmitted from person-to-person.

How many cases of coronavirus have been identified?

For an update of cases in Tarrant County, go to the Tarrant County Public Health Coronavirus webpage. For an update of cases in Texas and a breakdown of cases by county for the state of Texas, refer to the Texas Department of State Health Services..

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

In severe cases, they include

  • Persistent high fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia

Symptoms may seem to get a bit better, only to get worse.

What are the differences between Coronavirus, allergies, and the flu?

This chart will show you the differences between coronavirus, allergies and the flu.

Who is most at risk of becoming seriously ill?

  • People over age 60
  • People with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease

How is it transmitted?

  • Through close contact with an infected person
  • By an infected person coughing or sneezing
  • By touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes

It takes from 2 days up to 14 days from being exposed to the virus before you will get sick.

What is local or community transmission and has it happened in Tarrant County?

Local or community transmission is when the virus is spreading from person-to-person within the community rather than being acquired through travel. Though household cases are examples of community transmission the concern is with continued spread beyond a single household or cluster such that the chain of infection cannot be easily identified. Tarrant County Public Health measures community spread on its coronavirus dashboard.

Who may have been exposed to COVID-19?

All Tarrant County residents should consider themselves potentially exposed to coronavirus. That means, everyone should stay home as much as possible, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. While at home, all Tarrant County residents should self-monitor. Self-monitoring means you check yourself for fever and remain alert for cough, shortness of breath or sore throat. It is important that people who have these symptoms stay at home and do not go out to the store or go to work or attend any event, regardless of the size.

What can I do to prevent getting COVID-19?

It is important to note that you can only get coronavirus from someone who is infected or by touching an object that an infected person has contaminated. So, the best things to do are:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If you do go out, cover your mouth and nose with a mask.
  • Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others when you do go out; avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t shake hands, wave hello instead.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that people touch frequently with a cleaner effective against coronavirus.
  • List of effective cleaners. For the cleaners to work, they MUST be used according to the manufacturer’s directions. Simply wiping on and immediately wiping off may not be sufficient.
  • Cleaning with bleach is an option. To make a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.

What should I do if I get sick?

  • Stay home until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours unless you experience significant symptoms, then contact your medical provider before you seek care.
  • Limit your contact with others in your household, if at all possible. If possible, limit the number of people who provide you care within the home so you don’t expose them. Most cases of coronavirus will be mild and you will recover without medical care. If you have persistent fever, high fever, have underlying medical conditions, contact your medical care provider.
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your medical provider before seeking care. If you don’t notify them before arriving at the clinic or hospital, immediately grab a mask and let the intake staff know your concern so that you don’t potentially expose others while waiting to be seen.

How do I get tested for coronavirus?

Visit one of several testing sites in Tarrant County.

How is coronavirus treated?

COVID-19 currently is best prevented by use of one of the vaccinations. Other options typically only treat the symptom, helping to provide comfort until recovery.

Other treatments may be approved by the FDA in the future.

If I am planning to travel, should I go?

Check the CDC website for updates on where travel should be avoided regardless of your risk for complications from coronavirus infection. If you are high-risk, you are advised not to travel.

What is case and contact tracing?

Early on in an outbreak when the number of cases is manageable, TCPH would attempt to identify all cases of disease. Then, they identify all individuals who may have been in contact with that individual when the case was infectious (able to spread the disease to others) in the hopes of breaking the chain of infection and preventing future cases.

As the number of cases grow, surveillance efforts will shift to only the most severe cases and prevention will shift to community containment efforts.

What are containment measures or nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs)?

Containment measures are activities to slow the spread of disease. They can be done on the individual level, such as asking a person to voluntarily stay home when they have been exposed to a disease, requiring ill persons to stay home or they can be applied to communities. When community containment measures are used, the goal is to stop or slow an outbreak and help prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed. In the coronavirus response, two containment measures may be implemented:

  • School closures and dismissals: These include temporary closures and dismissals of child care facilities, K–12 schools and institutions of higher education. Though children have not been shown to be at high risk from complications from coronavirus, past respiratory outbreaks have shown children play a pivotal role in spreading the virus within the community.
  • Social distancing measures: These include measures for schools, workplaces and mass gatherings.

It is not realistic to think these techniques are going to stop all diseases. However, they are meant to slow the rate of new infections to a point where the healthcare system is able to respond and provide time for a vaccine to be produced.


2-1-1 Assistance for families in need

www.211texas.org  is a website for individuals needing assistance related to COVID-19. Enter "COVID-19" as search term.

You can also dial 211. The phone line is serviced 24/7.


For more information, call 817-248-6299, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.