Here you will find basic information about coronavirus (COVID-19), including: 

COVID-19 Basics 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease. It is mild for most people, but can cause severe illness and result in death for some. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, have the greatest risk of becoming severely ill.

How It Spreads

COVID-19 spreads from person to person, mainly through coughs and sneezes of infected people or between people who are in close contact. The virus can also spread through contact with surfaces when a person touches a surface (that has the virus on it) and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. 


If you suspect you are infected with COVID-19, call ahead before visiting a medical facility. Do not go to an emergency room with mild symptoms.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath, Chills, Shaking, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, Loss of smell or taste

If you have symptoms:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more information about what to do if you are sick with COVID-19.
  • Call your doctor if you have:
    • Been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or
    • Recently traveled from an area with ongoing community spread

Precautionary/Preventative Measures

  • Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes using a tissue or your elbow.
  • Maintain a distance of 6-feet between you and others.
  • Wear a face covering or mask. 
    • Mayor Bruce Teague has issued an order that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the Delta variant, every person in the City of Iowa City must wear a face covering when in a public space. See the news release. 
  • If you are sick, please avoid contact with others until all symptoms have cleared for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • If you are eligible, receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Prevention of COVID-19 is the same as that for other respiratory illnesses (like flu). These actions don't just protect you. They help keep our whole community safe, especially our most vulnerable residents, by slowing the spread of the disease.