Prevention & Safety

What you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy:

Because the coronavirus spreads through a cough, sneeze, or kiss, there are some simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy. These are the same things you would do to prevent colds and flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Practice “social distancing” if you can. Try to stay at least 6 feet from others in public spaces and stay at home as much as possible.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover (mask) when around others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or use a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects (like your cell phone) and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Combat Flu Season and COVID-19

With COVID-19, it is important to stay protected against the flu. Learn more about seasonal flu prevention, symptoms and resources here.

What To Do If You Start to Feel Sick?

COVID-19 can create symptoms that are similar to those of a bad cold or seasonal flu, including:  fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.  Mild cases can very often be treated at home. If you experience more intense symptoms, please call your primary care provider.

Please DO NOT go straight to a hospital or other health care facility if you:
Develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

Call your provider or the health care facility first. They’ll need to prepare for your arrival and determine if you need testing for COVID-19.

About Coronavirus/COVID-19

What is Coronavirus/COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a kind of virus that causes flus and colds. The coronavirus that is spreading now is a new type that causes respiratory flu-like symptoms. COVID-19 is the name of the illness caused by this new coronavirus. Most cases are mild to moderate. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, may experience more severe respiratory and other illnesses related to COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads by respiratory droplets in the air and on surfaces, just like colds and flu. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus can spread up to 6 feet and then it drops to the ground or onto a surface. Most cases have happened through close contact with an infected person.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Some additional symptoms include body aches, congestions or runny nose, sore throat, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. Some people have COVID-19 but don’t feel any symptoms at all.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus.

Is it COVID-19, a cold, or just my seasonal allergies?

At this time of year, colds and seasonal allergies are common. With several overlapping symptoms, it’s natural to wonder if that cough, sneezing, and scratchy throat could be caused by COVID-19. To start, fever is a symptom that’s much more common with the new coronavirus. Itchy eyes are most often a sign of seasonal allergies. Below you’ll find links to Cleveland Clinic and Harvard Medical School articles with more information that can help you understand the differences between the symptoms of these illnesses and take action, if needed. As always, please give your Martin’s Point provider a call if you are concerned about symptoms you may be having.

Cleveland Clinic: Is It Covid-19, a Cold, or Seasonal Flu?
Harvard Health Publishing: Allergies? Common cold? Flu? Or COVID-19?


Call 211 or Visit
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Maine Department of Health and Human Services
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

State and Local Government Links Details on state-level updates

World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus disease advice, recommendations, and resources