How does COVID-19 spread?

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The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly 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. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
More information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 is known to spread through close contact with an infected person

Close contact examples include

  • being less than 6 feet of distance for at least 10-15 minutes.
  • being directly sneezed or coughed on by someone who has the virus.
  • being on an airplane with and had contact with someone who has COVID-19. This can depend upon how much the person with COVID-19 moved about the airplane.
  • having close physical contact, such as hugging or more intimate physical contact.
  • being in a position that requires caring for someone who has COVID-19, such as a health care worker.