Q: How is COVID-19 transmitted?
A: COVID-19 illness is spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets (mucous from the nose and throat) when a person who has COVID-19 illness coughs or sneezes and another person comes into contact with the infectious droplets. This is how the flu and many other respiratory illnesses spread. Respiratory droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be breathed into the lungs. Spread of the virus is more likely when people are at a close distance, such as within about 6 feet. Some information has been reported that the virus that causes COVID-19 is in the fecal matter (bowel movements) of infected patients. While CDC does not report this as a clearly understood way the virus is transmitted, it remains important to wash your hands after using the restroom. In some environments, the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces, so regular sanitation of shared surfaces is important.

Q: Can a person spread the infection if they don’t feel sick?
A: People are thought to be most contagious (able to spread the virus) when they are symptomatic (the sickest). That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. More recently, the virus has also been found in persons who do not have symptoms. This is why social distancing, good respiratory hygiene, including good hand washing, and staying at home unless you have to go out for food, supplies, or essential work, are important ways to reduce the spread of this virus.

Q: How long can a person spread COVID-19?
A: At this time, health officials do not know when someone with COVID-19 becomes contagious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with public health agencies and scientists to learn more about COVID-19.

Q: If you've already had COVID-19, can you get it again? Do you still need to wear a mask and practice social distancing?
A: Due to the SARSCoV 2 being a novel (new) virus, there is not clear scientific evidence concerning the body's ability to develop long term immunity. So, even if a person has had COVID 19 and has recovered, the person should still maintain social distancing, follow good hand washing or hand sanitizing practices, and wear a cloth face covering when in public.

Q: Why are face coverings required?
A: Face coverings reduce community spread of COVID-19. With more people wearing face coverings, hospitals can continue to provide elective medical procedures and our economy can continue to reopen.

Q: Do I have to wear a face covering while eating or drinking at a bar or restaurant?
A: No, but servers and employees who interact with customers must wear face coverings. Restaurants and bars may enforce stricter rules requiring customers to wear face coverings.

Q: Are face coverings required at outdoor athletic events?
A: Yes. Players, coaches, officials, and spectators must wear face coverings except that players and officials are not required to wear face coverings when directly participating in the athletic activity.

Q: Are face coverings required when groups of friends get together or at other gatherings?
A: Yes, if the gathering is not at an individual’s home and people in the group are not members of the same household and social distancing cannot be achieved.

Q: Are face coverings required at places of worship?
A: Organizers of religious gatherings are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Places of Worship,” see Page 4.

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