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.


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

Get the COVID-19 factsheet.

Get the latest coronavirus 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 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
  • Moderna
  • Johnson and Johnson

The vaccines are administered through shots in the arm. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses taken 3 to 4 weeks apart.

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


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.


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


  • 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.


  • 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.

Guidance for Unvaccinated People

If you are unvaccinated, you must follow the face covering rules in effect for:

  • City buildings and spaces for clients and visitors
  • City employees who interact with the public
  • Correctional facilities
  • Health care settings
  • Homeless shelters
  • Large-scale indoor event venues
  • Public transit Schools (pre-K-12)

You should also continue to wear a face covering and practice physical distancing when:

  • In any other public indoor space
  • Outdoors in crowded areas
  • Indoors with unvaccinated people outside of your household

Note that:

  • Wearing a face covering prevents you from unintentionally spreading COVID-19 to other people.
  • Wearing a face covering does not make you invincible. It is mainly about protecting other people from possible spread.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about face coverings.

Learn about the benefits of vaccination.

Guidance for Vaccinated People

Even if you are vaccinated, you must follow the face covering rules in effect for:

  • City buildings and spaces for clients and visitors
  • City employees who interact with the public
  • Correctional facilities
  • Health care settings
  • Homeless shelters
  • Large-scale indoor event venues
  • Public transit Schools (pre-K-12)

Businesses can choose to require masks for all customers, regardless of vaccination status.

Vaccinated people are strongly recommended to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.

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.
  • Don't use health care worker masks such as N95 masks. N95 respirators should be used in health care settings. The limited supply of these masks must be preserved for frontline health care workers.

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.

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.


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.

The City has issued public health social distancing rules to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Residential gatherings of more than 50 people indoors are not allowed in private homes.
  • Non-residential gatherings of more than 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors are not allowed.

Any event gatherings in excess of the social gathering limits may only occur if all individuals present proof of full vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test result. You must still keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others and wear a mask or a face covering when social distancing is not possible.

Social distancing rules are also still in effect for City employees who are unvaccinated.


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.

Call 311 for assistance.




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.

Call 311 for assistance.




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) Diagnostic Testing page to learn more about getting tested.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you'll receive a call from a Contact Tracer within 24 hours.

The Tracer will:

  • Ask about your symptoms
  • Determine if you need more medical attention
  • Create a list of everyone you had contact with since shortly before the onset of symptoms
  • Help you isolate at home or at a free hotel
  • Give you instructions on how to safely separate for up to 14 days

Contact Tracers will also call those who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to help them get tested and connect them with any services they might need.

Learn more about Contact Tracing.

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) Diagnostic 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) Antibody Testing page.

Test and Trace Corps

Test and Trace Corps is a program run by the City of New York through Health + Hospitals and in collaboration with DOHMH, DOITT, TLC, and many more.

The Corps helps New Yorkers receive free and easy testing for COVID-19 and ensures that anyone with the virus receives care and can safely isolate to prevent the spread. A specialized group of Contact Tracers has been created to provide resources and support.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you'll receive a call from a Contact Tracer within 24 hours.

The Tracer will:

  • Ask about your symptoms
  • Determine if you need more medical attention
  • Create a list of everyone you had contact with since shortly before the onset of symptoms
  • Help you isolate at home or at a free hotel
  • Give you instructions on how to safely separate for up to 14 days

Contact Tracers will also call those who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to help them get tested and connect them with any services they might need.


Learn more about Contact Tracing.

By Phone

If you do not receive a call from a Contact Tracer within 24 hours of testing positive, you can contact MedRite. They are a healthcare provider hired by NYC Test & Trace to provide at-home COVID-19 testing services.

Call 311 for assistance.

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.

Call 311 for assistance.




Transportation to Medical Appointments

If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (fever, coughing, or shortness of breath) and have an appointment with your doctor but do not have transportation options, you may be eligible for free transportation to and from your appointment.

Your appointment must be within the five boroughs of New York City.

  • Agency: Hunter Call Center
  • Phone Number: (516) 812-9827
  • Business Hours: Daily: 7 AM - 7 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
    • Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
    • Tuesday and Friday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    • Saturday: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Gotham Health Roosevelt
    37-50 72 Street
    Jackson Heights, NY
    • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
    • Tuesday and Friday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
    • Saturday: 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Learn more about COVID-19 Centers of Excellence.

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 the coronavirus 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

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.

You can leave your home when all of the following is true:

  • It has been seven days after your symptoms started.
  • You have not had a fever for three days without the use of fever-reducing drugs.
  • Your cough or sore throat symptoms have improved.

Learn about the best practices for quarantine from the Centers for Disease Control.

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

Call 311 for assistance.




COVID-19 Hotel Program

If you have COVID-19 and don't have a safe place to self-isolate, you may qualify to stay in a hotel, free of charge, for up to 14 days. 

You may qualify if: 

  • Your home doesn't have space for you to stay six feet away from others 
  • You share rooms or a bathroom 
  • You live with someone who is vulnerable 

Hotel guests have free: 

  • Round-trip transportation to and from the hotel and any necessary medical appointments 
  • Private rooms and bathrooms 
  • On-site COVID-19 testing 
  • Wi-Fi and unlimited local phone calls to stay connected 
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily 
  • Medication delivery, including methadone delivery 
  • On-site health care services by skilled doctors and nurses 
  • COVID-19 testing 
  • Telepsychiatry to access expert mental health providers 

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

Take Care Package

The Test & Trace Corps sends a “Take Care” package to all New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 and their reported contacts.

All individuals who complete intake with the Test and Trace Corps will be sent a Take Care Package. Individuals who are not part of the Test and Trace Corps cannot request a Take Care Package or an at home testing kit at this time.

A “Take Care” package includes enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days.

This includes:

  • A medical grade mask
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Thermometer
  • At-home testing kit for contacts
  • Pulse oximeter to help those who test positive for COVID-19 monitor their oxygen levels.

Learn more about the Take Care Package.

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.


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

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.




As of June 15, 2021, the State's health guidance and 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 most businesses and other commercial settings, including:

  • Retail
  • Restaurants, bars, and other food services
  • Offices
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Amusement and family entertainment
  • Hair salons, barbershops, and other personal care services
  • Small-scale indoor event venues (under 5,000 capacity)

These businesses are free to choose to lift all or some restrictions, continue to adhere to 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.

However, the following locations must still follow existing COVID-19 health and safety rules:

  • Indoor event venues with a capacity of 5,000 to 9,999
  • Health care and medical facilities
  • City government offices and buildings

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

Learn more about New York Forward Guidance.

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.

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

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

Learn more about COVID-19 and animals.

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.