The coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, has been detected in millions of people worldwide. The infection can be spread from person-to-person.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to pneumonia. A "novel coronavirus" is a strain that has not been previously found in humans.

Online

Learn more about COVID-19. (Information in other languages available here)

Get the COVID-19 factsheet.

Get the latest COVID-19 case count in New York State.

By Text

Text COVID to 692-692 to get the latest updates from Notify NYC.

Text COVIDESP to 692-692 to get the same updates in Spanish.

The City's Health Department is re-evaluating the COVID alert level system that tracks COVID-19 transmission and health care capacity in the city.

There are currently high transmission levels of COVID-19 throughout the city, so you should continue to take the following precautions:

  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
  • Wear a face mask in public indoor settings and around crowds outside. Upgrade to higher-quality masks, including KN95, KF94, N95, or a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms or are at high-risk (age/underlying condition) and recently exposed, traveled to, or attended a large gathering.
  • Stay home if sick or recently exposed. Follow all isolation and quarantine guidance, including wearing a face mask.
  • Keep hands clean.

Learn more about COVID-19 alert levels and recommended actions.

Spread

The virus is most likely to spread to people who are within about 6 feet of an infected person. The virus is in droplets that are sprayed when a person coughs or sneezes, and possibly when they talk. Staying 6 feet away helps protect you from that spray.

Scientists disagree on how long COVID-19 lives on surfaces, but it can live on surfaces that people frequently touch. The virus can then be spread if someone touches their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands that have virus on them.

Scientists now believe that people who have no symptoms can spread the virus. However, people who are experiencing symptoms like coughing or sore throat are probably more likely to transmit the virus to others.

Prevention

To prevent coronavirus, you should take the same precautions that you would during cold and flu season:

Do:

  • Get the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine.
  • Stay home at all times if you are sick. If you’re not feeling any better after 3 to 4 days, contact your health care provider.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Consider telecommuting, biking, or walking to work if possible.
  • Consider staggering working hours. For example, instead of 9 AM to 5 PM, change some work hours to 10 AM to 6 PM or 8 AM to 4 PM.

Don’t:

  • Touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Shake hands. Instead, wave.
  • Go to the emergency room or other places to seek health care if you are not severely ill.
  • Visit family or friends who are elderly or have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues if you feel sick.

Cleaning and Disinfection Tips

  • If a surface is dirty, first clean it using a detergent or soap and water before disinfecting.
  • To disinfect a surface, use a diluted household bleach solution or an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
  • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
  • Check that the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach is effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

The COVID-19 vaccine can prevent COVID-19 symptoms and severe COVID-19 illness.

There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration:

  • Pfizer BioNTech (also known as Comirnaty, which is pronounced "koe-mir-na-tee")
  • Moderna
  • Johnson and Johnson

The vaccines are administered through shots in the arm.

To learn more, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine page.

Vaccine Mandates

Private Businesses

There is no workplace vaccine mandate for private businesses in New York City.

The Key to NYC vaccine mandate ended on March 7, 2022. The program required employees and customers of indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment venues to prove they were vaccinated.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) workplace vaccine mandate for all private businesses in New York City ended on November 1, 2022.

Businesses can still require proof of vaccination or masking indoors if they choose.

Learn more about the mandate.

Public Schools

There is no general vaccine mandate for students attending public school. Vaccination is no longer required for students ages 5 and up participating in high-risk sports and extracurricular activities.

All DOE employees and City contracted child care/after-school staff were also required to submit proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by October 1, 2021. Learn more on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Schools page.

Private Schools

All full-time, part-time, and volunteer staff working in private schools, including independent schools and religious schools, must be vaccinated against COVID-19. At this time there is no vaccine mandate for students attending private schools.

Learn more on the Private School Vaccine Mandate page.

City Workers

To learn about mandates for City government workers, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and City Workers page.

Healthcare Workers

In New York State, all healthcare workers, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities that are public or private, were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as of September 27, 2021.

These facilities include: 

  • Adult care 
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Other congregate care settings

The State Department of Health requires these facilities to develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccination, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons.

You should contact your employer’s human resources department for more information.

Face Covering Mandate

New York State still requires face coverings for everyone when in:

  • Health care settings
  • Nursing homes

Children over age 2 must wear a mask in the same places adults must wear them. Masks and respirators should not be worn by children younger than age 2.

Businesses and other private establishments are allowed to require masks for employees and customers.

It is recommended that people who are not fully vaccinated wear a face covering in all public settings, indoors and outdoors.

People who are fully vaccinated are urged to wear face coverings in all public indoor settings, as well as in any setting when they do not know the vaccination status of those around them.

People who are at increased risk of severe illness or are unvaccinated should consider wearing two masks. Using a cloth mask over a disposable mask improves the fit and adds layers. Also consider using a single higher-grade mask, such as a KN95 or KF94.

Choosing a Face Covering

  • Use a face covering with two or three layers of material to better prevent unfiltered air from passing through.
  • Use face coverings made of tightly-woven fabric (fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source). Face coverings should be made of breathable fabric (like cotton), and not of leather, plastic, or other materials that make it hard to breathe.
  • Don't use a face covering with an exhalation valve as it allows unfiltered exhaled air to escape.

For New Yorkers at greater risk, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) recommends two masks or even considering higher-grade masks, such as a KN95 mask, which is similar in design and function to N95 masks used by healthcare workers.

This includes those who are:

  • 65 or older
  • Have an underlying medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19
  • People who care for someone who is sick
  • People who are in prolonged close contact with non-household members while indoors (such as people who regularly work in person with the members of the public)

Wearing a Face Covering

Make sure the face covering fits snugly against the sides of the face and fully covers both the nose and mouth, without slipping. Face coverings that fit loosely allow respiratory droplets to enter and leak out.

Tips to help you ensure a snug fit:

  • Wear a cloth face covering over a disposable mask.
  • Wear a face covering with a nose wire.
  • Wear a face mask fitter or brace.
  • Knot the ear loops and fold or tuck extra material.

Consider wearing two face coverings. Two face coverings may better protect you and others by adding layers and helping ensure a snug fit. If you decide to wear two face coverings, wear a cloth face covering over a disposable mask. Do not wear two disposable masks or a face covering over a higher-grade mask like a KN95, KF94, or N95.

At Home

  • If you live with others and are sick, recently tested positive for COVID-19 or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19 (unless you are alone in a separate room). You should also wear a mask when around pets, because people can spread COVID-19 to their pets.
  • If someone else in your household is sick, recently tested positive for COVID-19 or was recently exposed to someone with COVID-19 (unless you are in a separate room from them).

You should also consider wearing a mask when people visit your home, if you or any visitors are unvaccinated or at high risk for severe COVID-19. You should ask your visitors to wear masks, too. 

Face Covering Care

Cloth face coverings should be washed once a day by hand or machine using detergent. Wear only when dry.

Paper face coverings are reusable until they become damaged, dirty, or wet.

Posters

You can get posters displaying reminders of the need to wear a face covering when outside the home.

Go to the Health and Mental Hygiene Literature page to get free copies of these materials by mail or to download them online.

Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Some people do not have any symptoms. Most people will have mild to moderate symptoms and recover on their own.

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus and can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath (trouble breathing)
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Older adults may show confusion or disorientation and experience falls.

This list does not include all possible symptoms.

If you have any of these symptoms and they are not due to a preexisting health condition like asthma or emphysema, you may have COVID-19 and you must stay home.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get a diagnostic test now – regardless of age, chronic conditions, or occupation – and then stay home.

Chronic Health Risks

People who are at most risk for severe illness are those who have health conditions including:

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • A weakened immune system
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

An infection can result in death, but that is a rare outcome.

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Close contact for exposure is defined as either:

  • Being within approximately 6 feet of a person with coronavirus for a prolonged period. For example, sitting within 6 feet of the patient in a healthcare waiting area.
  • Having direct contact with bodily fluids of someone infected. For example, being coughed on or touching used tissues with a bare hand.

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You should schedule a test as soon as possible if you:

  • Have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Spent at least 10 minutes within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19.
  • Just returned from a state with a high level of COVID-19.
  • Recently went to a large indoor gathering of 10 people or more.

Go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing page to learn more about getting tested.

Diagnostic Testing

COVID-19 diagnostic tests are used to determine if you currently have COVID-19. Diagnostic tests don't test for immunity or tell you if you had the virus in the past.

If you were sick and have now recovered and want to be tested, you should take an antibody test instead.

To learn more about the COVID-19 diagnostic test or to find a testing site, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing page.

Test-to-Treat Mobile Testing Sites

Free COVID-19 testing and anti-viral pills are available at Test-to-Treat mobile testing sites. Learn more on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing page.

Antibody Testing

COVID-19 antibody tests are used to determine if you've had COVID-19 in the past.

These tests can't be used to determine whether you are currently infected with COVID-19. If you are currently sick, you should get a diagnostic test instead.

To learn more about the COVID-19 antibody test, including testing sites, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing page.

If your symptoms are mild, you should stay home and monitor your condition.

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms and they do not improve in 3 to 4 days:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms

You should try to contact your health care provider by phone rather than going to them in person.

If you can't get in contact with or don't have a health care provider, you can speak with a NYC Health + Hospitals clinician.

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Connecting to Services

If you tested positive for COVID-19 using at-home tests you can contact Test & Treat Corps and they can connect you with services to help you.

  • Agency: NYC Health + Hospitals
  • Division: COVID-19 Hotel and AfterCare Programs
  • Phone Number: (212) 268-4319
  • Business Hours: Daily: 9 AM - 9 PM

Antiviral Pills

Oral antiviral pills for the treatment of COVID-19 are now available for free, same-day, at-home delivery. Both oral antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies have been proven to be effective at reducing severe outcomes, like hospitalization and death, and are available for those who test positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms.

Treatment is most effective when started soon after symptom onset, so the Health Department recommends that New Yorkers get tested right away if they feel sick. Due to limited supply of both monoclonal antibody treatments and antiviral pills, these treatments are prioritized for those who have tested positive and are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If you test positive you should contact your doctor or call NYC Health + Hospitals to be connected to care and to discuss treatment options available to you.

Online

Learn more about antiviral pills and other treatments.

By Phone

  • Agency: NYC Health + Hospitals
  • Division: COVID-19 Hotel and AfterCare Programs
  • Phone Number: (212) 268-4319
  • Business Hours: Daily: 9 AM - 9 PM

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are made in a lab and work similarly to antibodies your immune system makes to fight infection. This treatment helps your body fight COVID-19 while your immune system begins to make its own antibodies. Clinical studies for these treatments were shown to be safe and effective.

Learn more about monoclonal antibodies and other COVID-19 treatments.

Find a monoclonal antibody treatment facility near you.

New York State Residents Outside New York City

If you live in New York State but not in New York City and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around someone experiencing symptoms, you can get help by phone.

  • Agency: NYS Novel Coronavirus Hotline
  • Phone Number: (888) 364-3065
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, but some do not. “Long COVID” are the words people use to describe COVID health problems that last more than four weeks after first being infected with the COVID virus. 

Common symptoms of Long COVID are: 

  • Tiredness or fatigue 
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”) 
  • Headache 
  • Loss of smell or taste 
  • Dizziness on standing 
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations) 
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Cough
  • Joint or muscle pain 
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Fever 
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities 
  • Chest Pain 

Learn more about Long COVID symptoms and available care options.

Long COVID AfterCare Program

NYC Health and Hospitals offers the AfterCare program for patients with Long COVID. If you would like medical care for Long COVID, you should contact your medical provider. 

Learn more about the Long COVID Aftercare program.

If you don’t have a medical provider, or if you want more information about the AfterCare program, you can get assistance by phone. Press 0 to get information on the Long COVID AfterCare program.

  • Agency: NYC Health + Hospitals
  • Division: COVID-19 Hotel and AfterCare Programs
  • Phone Number: (212) 268-4319
  • Business Hours: Daily: 9 AM - 9 PM

COVID-19 Centers of Excellence

NYC Health and Hospital’s Community Health Centers in the Bronx and Queens are dedicated to those recovering from COVID-19. Both locations offer a wide range of services to keep families healthy. Short and long-term follow-up care for those in recovery of COVID-19 include:

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Lung care and supplemental oxygen
  • Heart care
  • Diagnostic radiology services
  • Mental health services for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychological distress
  • Rooms with special technology to safely isolate patients who may have COVID-19 and are being tested

The locations are:

  • Tremont Community Health Center
    1920 Webster Avenue
    Bronx, NY
    • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8:30 AM - 7 PM
    • Tuesday and Friday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
    • Saturday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
       
  • Gotham Health, Broadway
    815 Broadway
    Brooklyn, NY 11206
    • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8:30 AM – 7 PM
    • Tuesday and Friday: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
    • Saturday: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Gotham Health, Roosevelt
    37-50 72 Street
    Jackson Heights, NY
    • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8:30 AM - 7 PM
    • Tuesday and Friday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
    • Saturday: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Learn more about COVID-19 Centers of Excellence.

You can schedule an appointment by phone.

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Fully vaccinated people no longer need to quarantine after exposure to someone with COVID-19, as long as they do not have symptoms. They also no longer need to get tested for COVID-19, unless they have symptoms of COVID-19 or testing is required for work, school, or a specific activity.

While at home, you should monitor your health. Self-monitoring means you check yourself for fever and remain alert for COVID-19 symptoms which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat.

Isolate right away if you have symptoms or test positive. Go home and separate from others. Even if you do not have symptoms, do everything you can to not spread the virus to others:

  • Stay isolated for at least five days from when your symptoms began (or if you had no symptoms, your test date).
  • Keep isolating if you have had a fever in the last 24 hours or your symptoms are not improving after five days.

Learn about the best practices for self-isolation from the Centers for Disease Control.

Use the COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Tool.

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NYC Take Care Isolation Hotel Program

The NYC Take Care Isolation Hotel Program ended on March 28, 2022.

Take Care Package

The Test & Trace Corps Care Package Delivery Program ended on June 30, 2022.

Medication Delivery

Capsule is a pharmacy which offers free, same day home delivery of prescription medications, 7 days a week.

However, you are still responsible for the cost of the medication not covered by your insurance, just as you would be with any other pharmacy.

The City is not responsible for these prescription deliveries.

  • Agency: Capsule
  • Phone Number: (646) 362-3092
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 10 PM; Saturday - Sunday: 10 AM - 6 PM

Food

The Test & Trace Corps Care Emergency Food Delivery Program ended on June 30, 2022.

Visit the Food Resources page to learn about emergency food sites and food benefit programs.

Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a health condition that has appeared in children in New York City. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now confirmed there is a link to COVID-19.

Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to preventing long-term complications from MIS-C.

Most children have a fever lasting several days, along with other symptoms.

Common symptoms include:

  • Irritability or sluggishness
  • Abdominal pain without another explanation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis, or red or pink eyes
  • Enlarged gland on one side of the neck
  • Red, cracked lips or red tongue that looks like a strawberry
  • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red

If your child becomes ill and has had a continued fever, call your doctor immediately.

If you do not have a doctor, go to the Find a Doctor page to speak to an NYC Health + Hospitals clinician.

Pregnancy, Newborns, and Breastfeeding

You can get information about the effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy, newborn babies, and breastfeeding.

Online

Get the "Guidance for People Who Are Pregnant, Breastfeeding or Caring for Newborns" sheet.

By Phone

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Vaccine Mandate

Private Businesses

There is no workplace vaccine mandate for private businesses in New York City.

The Key to NYC vaccine mandate ended on March 7, 2022. The program required employees and customers of indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment venues to prove they were vaccinated.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) workplace vaccine mandate for all private businesses in New York City ended on November 1, 2022.

Businesses can still require proof of vaccination or masking indoors if they choose.

Learn more about the mandate.

Public Schools

There is no general vaccine mandate for students attending public school. Vaccination is no longer required for students ages 5 and up participating in high-risk sports and extracurricular activities.

All DOE employees and City contracted child care/after-school staff were also required to submit proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by October 1, 2021. Learn more on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Schools page.

Private Schools

All full-time, part-time, and volunteer staff working in private schools, including independent schools and religious schools, must be vaccinated against COVID-19. At this time there is no vaccine mandate for students attending private schools.

Learn more on the Private School Vaccine Mandate page.

City Workers

To learn about mandates for City government workers, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and City Workers page.

Healthcare Workers

In New York State, all healthcare workers, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities that are public or private, were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as of September 27, 2021.

These facilities include: 

  • Adult care 
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Other congregate care settings

The State Department of Health requires these facilities to develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccination, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons.

You should contact your employer’s human resources department for more information.

Workplace Safety

Employers can reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in their workplace by following these tips:

  • Reduce exposure through staggered and flexible schedules, and virtual meetings and events instead of in-person activities
  • Encourage employees to get tested for COVID-19
  • Remind employees to stay home if they are sick or test positive
  • Require masks at all times
  • Help employees stay distanced from each other and the public while working
  • Promote COVID-19 vaccination

Industry-Specific Guidelines

New York State’s New York Forward industry-specific guidelines—including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing—are now lifted for all businesses except indoor event venues with a capacity of 5,000 to 9,999.

Other businesses are free to choose to follow the State's archived guidance or implement other health precautions for their employees and patrons. They are also allowed to require masks and six feet of social distancing for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.

Learn more about COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in New York State.

Learn about rules for large indoor event venues.

Transmission from Animals

At this time there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, play a significant role in spreading COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to be transmitted exclusively from person to person.

Transmission to Animals

The CDC is aware of a small number of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, including both cats and dogs. Only a few of the animals who tested positive showed signs of illness, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Until more is known about transmission, the CDC recommends that people with symptoms restrict contact with their pets.

Learn more about COVID-19 and animals.

Pets

If you are sick, restrict contact with your pets and have another member of your household care for your animals.

Test & Trace Corps provides animal services for people who have COVID-19 and need to safely separate but need assistance with their pet.

Learn more about available animal services.

You should have a plan to keep your pets safe if you have a medical emergency and are unable to care for them.

Learn how to create a pet emergency plan.

Travel to New York State

As of June 25, 2021, the New York State Travel Advisory is no longer in effect. Travelers arriving in New York are no longer required to submit traveler health forms.

All travelers, domestic and international, should continue to follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel requirements.

The CDC recommends:

  • Fully vaccinated travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York from international travel.
  • All unvaccinated travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York, consider non-mandated self-quarantine (7 days if tested on day 3-5, otherwise 10 days), and avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days, regardless of test result.

Travelers that are symptomatic must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.

Regardless of quarantine status, all individuals exposed to COVID-19 or returning from travel must:

  • Continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14;
  • Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated);
  • Must immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

Learn more about CDC guidance for:

Travel to Other States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise residents to be mindful of domestic travel. 

You should delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s guidelines for unvaccinated people.

People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization can travel safely within the United States.

CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, as rates of COVID-19 change, and as additional scientific evidence becomes available. This guidance applies to travel within the United States and U.S. territories.

Learn more about travel guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

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