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The coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, has been detected in thousands of people worldwide. There is evidence the infection can be spread 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 virus appears to be spreading from person to person. It’s not clear how easily it spreads. 

Health experts think that person-to-person spread usually happens when someone who has the virus produces droplets by coughing or sneezing. This is similar to how the flu and other respiratory illnesses spread. 

There are no specific vaccines or treatments available for this coronavirus yet. 

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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.

Wearing a Mask

  • New Yorkers should wear face coverings when they leave their home and could be within six feet of other people.
  • Wearing a face covering prevents you from unintentionally spreading COVID-19 to other people.
  • Face coverings can be dust mask, scarf, bandana, cloth masks or anything that covers nose and mouth.
  • Do not use health care worker masks; limited supply of these masks must be preserved for frontline healthcare workers.
  • Wearing a face covering does not make you invincible, this is primarily about protecting other people from possible spread. 
  • Continue to stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others.
  • Maintain physical distance and stay six feet apart when you must go outside for essential work, essentials needs, or to get medical care.

Learn about how to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

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 to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.


The symptoms of coronavirus can be mild or severe. Most people will have mild symptoms.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Not everyone who is infected will experience symptoms.

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

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

Exposure and Close Contact

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 contact your health care provider 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 do not have a health care provider, you can speak with a NYC Health + Hospitals clinician. 

If your symptoms are mild, you should stay at home and monitor your condition. Testing is only offered to patients who are severely ill and need hospitalization.

If you need a note to stay home from work because you are sick with coronavirus symptoms you can get one online.

Download a health care provider note to excuse absence from work.

Call 311 for assistance.

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 assistance from the NYS Novel Coronavirus Hotline.

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

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 self-isolation and quarantine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For information about paid sick leave, go to the Paid Safe and Sick Leave page.

Call 311 for assistance.

There is no requirement from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) for any worker to be tested and to show negative signs of COVID-19, in order to return to work.

DOHMH also does not provide return to work notes for anyone who may have been advised by DOHMH personnel to stay home.

For back-to-work policies and instructions, workers should contact their employer’s human resources department.

Call 311 for assistance.

The City is collecting voluntary information about your experience with the coronavirus to better understand the impact of the virus on New York City.

You are encouraged to sign up if you fit any of the following criteria:

  • Are experiencing symptoms (coughing, fever, shortness of breath)
  • Feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or came in contact with someone who is infected
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Were, are, or will be placed under mandatory or voluntary quarantine or self-isolation

You can provide information for yourself, a child, or a family member if you are authorized to do so.

The information collected will be used to follow up about your coronavirus inquiry and make sure you’re appropriately connected to the Department of Health. It will also help us get you the support and care you need if you want to voluntarily self-isolate as a precaution.

If you need to update your status information, call 311 for assistance.

Your personal information will not be given to third parties, and will not be used for marketing or any other commercial purpose. All information collected is encrypted for security.

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

Your appointment must be within the 5 boroughs of New York City.

Call 311 for assistance by phone.

You can get assistance if you are a health care physician or provider who needs to report the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the Department of Health. 

New York State certified health care workers can also register online to support health care facilities in need. You must complete a two-step process to have your license verified and to be properly placed in a facility with staffing needs.

Visit Help Now to register for staffing opportunities.

Learn about the New York City Medical Reserve Corps.

Get the New York City Medical Reserve Corps registration guide.

Call 311 for assistance.

For information about the effects of coronavirus, COVID-19 on breastfeeding, pregnancy, and newborn babies you can contact the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Call 311 for assistance.

The City of New York is seeking businesses with the ability to quickly source and/or make needed medical supplies (e.g. ventilators, face shields, gowns or masks) and other products needed to support the City’s COVID-19 response. The City of New York is also seeking donations of medical supplies/Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support the City's healthcare workers.

Submit this form if you are a supplier or distributor with access to a stock of ready-made supplies.

Submit this form if you are a manufacturer and able to create new products from scratch.

Submit this form if you can donate supplies.