What you need to know about COVID-19

Each year, respiratory viruses are responsible for millions of illnesses and thousands of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States.

COVID-19 is one of many respiratory viruses you can prevent and treat. Learn more about COVID-19 disease and find information below about how to protect yourself against it.

The Rhode Island Department of Health tracks COVID-19 trends in Rhode Island on the COVID-19 Data Hub. These data can help you understand how COVID-19 is impacting Rhode Island.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people use core prevention strategies, additional prevention strategies, and layering prevention strategies to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.


If you know when you’re sick with COVID-19, you can get treatment and you can prevent the illness from spreading to others.


Seek health care right away for testing and/or treatment if you believe you may have a respiratory virus (if you feel sick or tested positive for one) and you have risk factors for severe illness. If you have COVID-19, treatment may be an option to make your symptoms less severe and shorten the time you are sick. Treatment needs to be started within a few days of when your symptoms begin.

Risk Factors for Severe Illness

Many factors can make it more likely for someone to become very sick from a respiratory virus, including COVID-19. There are several specific considerations for people with certain risk factors for severe illness.

CDC offers separate, specific guidance for healthcare settings, including nursing homes, for COVID-19