Your Health

Flatten the Curve

You should NOT...

  • Travel or visit friends and family if there is no urgent need.
  • Be closer than six (6) feet to others when you go out.
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facilities.

You can...

  • Ask your employer about work from home opportunities.
  • Go to the grocery, convenience, and warehouse stores.
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities.
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out or drive-thru.
  • Care or support a friend or family member.
  • Go to medical appointments (call your doctor or provider first).
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog, and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others in the community
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian, if necessary.
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies.

Are You at Higher Risk for Severe Illness?

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:



  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
    • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease

More information for people who are at higher risk for severe illness can be found on the CDC website.

Prevent Illness

COVID 19 Prevention graphic showing good hygiene

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Protect yourself and your community from COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home when you are sick.

For more information on how you can protect yourself, please visit

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Face Coverings

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

The use of simple cloth face coverings can slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Coverings can be made from household items or made at home from common materials at a low cost. Visit the CDC website for instructions on how to create a face covering at home. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

How to Wear a Face Covering


Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • be washed and sanitized very frequently

Please note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Mayor Jane Castor and the City of Tampa, joined by Publix, Winn Dixie, Home Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Tampa Electric and TECO People’s Gas, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Moffitt Cancer Center, and AdventHealth have launched a coordinated effort to better protect employees and customers of some of Tampa’s largest essential businesses. This includes a commitment by partner companies to provide face coverings to all employees that deal with the public, and an advisory that customers should wear face coverings when visiting their businesses. All businesses are encouraged to participate in this initiative & use #FaceTheFactsTPA on social media platforms. Posters can be downloaded here and here to display storefront.

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Watch for Symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Graphic showing a person developing COVID19 symptoms - Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath

Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include any of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

For more information on the symptoms you should watch out for, please visit

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What to do if you are sick

Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.

Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick:

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
  • Monitor your symptoms

For more information on how you can prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, please visit

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