COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, a flu, or pneumonia. COVID-19 may attack more than your lungs and respiratory system. Other parts of your body may also be affected by the disease.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.
People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
The vast majority of people recover from this infection. Most people will have mild or moderate symptoms. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes have a greater risk for more serious illness. Some people including those with minor or no symptoms may suffer from post-COVID conditions — or “long COVID.”
If you start to develop the symptoms listed above, please call your primary care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the Dorchester County Health Department at 410-228-3223.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
If someone is showing any of these signs, call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and those you love from COVID-19. Individuals aged 6 months and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
Dorchester Health Department Vaccines
Monthly Health Department Vaccine Schedule
Primary vaccinations and boosters for those 5 years and older:
- Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m
- Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Pre-register for a vaccine appointment online or call (410) 228-0235 to schedule an appointment.
- Vaccines given at the health department at 3 Cedar St. in Cambridge. Please use the side door facing McDonald’s to enter for your vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccinations for those 6 months to 5 years are offered by appointment:
- Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available.
- Please call (410) 228-0235 to make an appointment.
- Check in at the front desk at the health department at 3 Cedar St. for your appointment.
Monthly Community Vaccine Clinic Schedule
For more information about community vaccination clinics, please call (410) 228-0235 as locations and times vary.
Other Vaccine Options
Lost Vaccine Cards
If you lose your COVID-19 vaccination card or need proof of vaccination, please visit MD.MyIR.net and complete the online form to view and print your official vaccination record for free.
What You Need to Know
- If you test positive for COVID-19 and are more likely to get very sick, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of hospitalization and death.
- Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.
- Other medications can help reduce symptoms and help you manage your illness.
- The Treatment Locator can help you find a location that offers testing and treatment or a pharmacy where you can fill your prescription.
If you test positive and are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease. Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective. Contact a healthcare provider right away to determine if you are eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild right now.
Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within days of when you first develop symptoms to be effective.
People who are more likely to get very sick include older adults (ages 50 years or more, with risk increasing with age), people who are unvaccinated, and people with certain medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, or a weakened immune system.
Being vaccinated makes you much less likely to get very sick. Still, some vaccinated people, especially those ages 65 years or older or who have other risk factors for severe disease, may benefit from treatment if they get COVID-19.
A healthcare provider will help decide which treatment, if any, is right for you. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are taking other medications to make sure the COVID-19 treatments can be safely taken at the same time.
Types of Treatments
Several options are available for treating COVID-19 at home or in an outpatient setting. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized certain antiviral medications and monoclonal antibodies to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in people who are more likely to get very sick.
- Antiviral treatments target specific parts of the virus to stop it from multiplying in the body, helping to prevent severe illness and death.
- Monoclonal antibodies help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines for healthcare providers to help them work with their patients and determine the best treatment options for them.
Some treatments might have side effects or interact with other medications you are taking. Ask a healthcare provider if medications to treat COVID-19 are right for you. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, visit a Test to Treat location or contact your local community health center or health department.
If you are hospitalized, your healthcare provider might use other types of treatments, depending on how sick you are. These could include medications to treat the virus, reduce an overactive immune response, or treat COVID-19 complications.
Managing COVID-19 Symptoms
Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home. You can treat symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), to help you feel better.
The Treatment Locator can help you find a location that offers testing and treatment or a pharmacy where you can fill your prescription. You also may call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to find a location that offers testing and treatment or a pharmacy where you can fill your prescription.
The FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for tixagevimab plus cilgavimab (Evusheld), a medicine used in adults and children ages 12 years and older. Evusheld consists of 2 monoclonal antibodies provided together to help prevent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. A healthcare provider gives Evusheld as 2 separate consecutive intramuscular (IM) injections at a doctor’s office or healthcare facility. If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised or severely allergic to COVID-19 vaccines, you may be eligible for Evusheld. Talk to a healthcare provider to determine if this option is right for you.
The right medications for COVID-19 can help. People have been seriously harmed and even died after taking products not approved for use to treat or prevent COVID-19, even products approved or prescribed for other uses. Talk to a healthcare provider about taking medications to treat COVID-19.
Drive-up COVID-19 testing without an appointment is available on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in front of the health department at 3 Cedar St. in Cambridge.
Drive-up testing also is available by same-day appointment Tuesdays through Fridays at the COVID-19 Satellite Center at 103 Cedar St. Please call (410) 228-0235 to schedule an appointment.
Monthly COVID-19 Testing Schedule
Testing also is available at pharmacies and other locations in Dorchester County and statewide. Visit the State of Maryland’s COVID-19 testing website to find a testing site near you.
Rapid, At-Home Tests
Rapid, at-home self test kits, masks, and/or other COVID-19 supplies are available, while supplies last, at the COVID-19 Satellite Center at 103 Cedar St. Call (410) 228-0235 before you come to ensure supplies are available.
At-home self test kits also are available, while supplies last, at numerous other sites throughout the county, including:
- Cambridge Library
- Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions
- Hurlock Police Department
- Hurlock Library
- Hurlock Town Hall
- Hurlock UMC
- ENM Town Hall
- Eldorado Brookview Fire Hall
- Cambridge Seventh Day Adventist
- St. Mary’s Refuge Of Sinners
- St. Paul’s UMC
- Vienna Town Hall
- Refuge Temple
- Cambridge Empowerment Center
It is recommended to call those sites in advance to make sure kits are still available.
Other community organizations interested in receiving Rapid At-Home COVID-19 test kits to distribute in your area should call (410) 228-0235 and ask to speak with Hannah Mayhew.
Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19
If you were exposed to COVID-19, you should start taking precautions right away to avoid spreading the virus to otherssolation, masking, and avoiding contact with people who are at high risk of getting very sick. Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19.
When to Isolate
Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19. You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results. If your results are positive, follow the full isolation recommendations below. If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.
When you have COVID-19, isolation is counted in days, as follows:
If you had no symptoms
- Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result)
- Day 1 is the first full day following the day you were tested
- If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset
If you had symptoms
- Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive
- Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started
If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.
- Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
- Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask. For travel guidance, see CDC’s Travel webpage.
- Do not travel.
- Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
End isolation based on how serious your COVID-19 symptoms were.
- If you had no symptoms: You may end isolation after day 5.
- If you had symptoms: You may end isolation after day 5 if:
- You are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
- Your symptoms are improving
If you still have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue to isolate until they improve.
If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19, or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.
If you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before ending isolation. Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you.
If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.
Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11. Remember to wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others at home and in public and not go places where you are unable to wear a mask until you are able to discontinue masking.
Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
Removing Your Mask
After you have ended isolation, when you are feeling better (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms improving),
Wear your mask through day 10.
If you have access to antigen tests, you should consider using them. With two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.
Note: If your antigen test results are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.
After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.
CDC Isolation Calculator
If you test positive for COVID-19, the CDC’s isolation calculator will assist you in determining whether you need to quarantine or isolate and for how long.
COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus.
- These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth.
- In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch.
- People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.
There are simple steps you can take to reduce your chance of being infected with the COVID-19 virus, including:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Wear a face covering when you can’t maintain a distance of six feet or when your community risk is moderate or high, and ask others to do the same. Be sure to practice safe handling of your mask to avoid transmission.
The best way to reduce your chance of infection is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to make sure you are up to date on booster shots.
Local data is updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For the most up-to-date local information, please follow the Dorchester County Health Department’s Facebook page.
Button: Current Local Data
State, National, and Worldwide Data
- Maryland State COVID-19 Data Dashboard
- CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker
- Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center Data Map
- World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus Dashboard
Local COVID News
Check your diabetes risk and sign up for prevention
World AIDS Day is Dec. 1
Health Department’s COVID-19 Operations Move to 10 Aurora St.
For more information about COVID-19, visit:
- State of Maryland’s COVID-19 Information Hub
- Federal Government’s COVID-19 Information Hub
- Centers of Disease Control COVID-19 Website
- COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
For general questions about COVID-19 or to make an appointment for vaccinations or testing, call the COVID-19 Satellite Center at (410) 228-0235. The Center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on holidays. For general questions about COVID-19, you may also email us.
Other Contact Information
- Maryland Call Line: 211 (available 24/7)
- UMMS Nurse Call Line: 1-888-713-0711 (available 24/7)
- PRMC Nurse Call Line: 410-912-6889