COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resource Center
What you need to know about the disease and our coverage commitment.
A closer look at the COVID-19 and your health
COVID-19 research is ongoing, but here’s what we know about the disease, how it spreads and how you can protect you and your family’s health.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus that was first identified in December 2019.
Symptoms for COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. In extreme cases, it can result in death. These symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
You should seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
How COVID-19 spreads
COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person, including between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings or talks.
Under certain circumstances, such as when people are in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation, COVID-19 can sometimes spread by airborne transmission. It spreads less commonly through contact with contaminated surfaces.
Ways to protect yourself
As the COVID-19 pandemic remains ongoing, you should keep up good preventive habits to lower your risk.
Here are some things that may reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Review the CDC guidelines for wearing masks and follow your state and local government’s recommendations
- Follow your state and local government’s orders and social distancing recommendations
- Wash your hands often—follow the 20 second rule when washing your hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick—maintain 6 feet between you and others who may be sick
- Cover all coughs and sneezes
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or face
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you use often
- Monitor your daily health and contact a health provider for guidance if you feel sick
Visit the CDC for more prevention and safety tips.
If you’ve been vaccinated
To learn more about what you can do after you have been fully vaccinated, review the CDC guidelines.
People who need to take extra precaution
Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more severe complications from COVID-19. This includes:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
People of all ages with underlying medical conditions are also at greater risk. This includes:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised
- People with diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis or liver disease
Because COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, people who smoke or vape might also be at greater risk.
Source: CDC, April 6, 2021
More health and wellness tips from BlueNews
More ways to stay informed
See how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak.
The latest data
Johns Hopkins University has resources to help you learn more about the disease.
COVID-19 & Blue
Visit BCBS.com to see how BCBS companies are providing support to communities, providers and members during the COVID-19 pandemic.