Infectious disease experts say most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate, like the common cold. But it can be more severe in older adults and people with chronic health conditions.

Most cases are likely to be spread from person to person by droplets when coughing. Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads. There are simple steps you can take to help protect yourself and your family.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing, and
  • Pneumonia

CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.


Everyone should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat. Use hand sanitizer when washing hands are not an option.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects. Avoid surfaces that are often touched, such as door knobs and handrails.
  • Avoid attending public places and events.

For people who are sick:

  • Stay home.
  • If you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen.
  • Keep sick household members away from others. If you have a separate room that is best.
  • Use soap and water, a bleach and water solution, or EPA-approved household products. You can make your own cleanser with a mixture of 1 cup of liquid unscented chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of water.
  • Avoid sharing personal items. Anyone at high risk for complications should talk to their healthcare provider for more information.
  • The first Coronavirus testing site in Suffolk County has opened in South P Lot at Stony Brook University. To receive Coronavirus updates from Suffolk County, text COVIDSUFFOLK to the number 67283. Appointments are necessary and you will only be granted one if you meet the symptoms of COVID-19. To make an appointment, call 1-888-364-2065. No doctor referral is needed.


 Stay Informed

  • Stay connected on your state and local health department’s social media pages and websites for timely and accurate COVID-19 information.
  • Be aware of false information circulating on the internet. Accurate and up-to-date information is available from the State Health Department at health.ny.gov/coronavirusor its hotline at 1-888-364-3065, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website and social media platforms at www.cdc.gov/COVID19
  • If you live alone and become sick, you may need to ask for help. If you have a chronic disease and live alone, ask your friends, family, and health care providers to check on you.

Suffolk County residents can now dial 3-1-1 for non-emergency inquiries or government service requests. The Suffolk 311 Call Center is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.to 4:30 p.m.

New York State has launched a new email system to provide daily updates about COVID19. https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates