About COVID-19 COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a virus (SARS-CoV-2). It is very contagious and can easily spread. COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness. It sometimes feels like a cold or flu, but it can also harm other parts of the body. Some people – like older adults and people with underlying medical conditions – are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines offer the best protection. The safe, effective vaccines reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death. If you've been exposed to COVID-19 If you have/think you have COVID-19 Version en Español Latest Updates COVID-19 Variants COVID-19 Dashboard NC’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response Find your spot to take your shot Experiencing symptoms? Get tested Did you test positive? Find treatment What is Long COVID? Some people with COVID-19 experience long-term effects from their infection. This is known as post-COVID conditions or long COVID. Even people who do not have symptoms at first can experience long-term complications. Some symptoms last four or more weeks. Even mild COVID-19 can cause long-term shortness of breath, chest pain and brain fog. More information on Long COVID How can I protect myself and others? We now have a robust toolbox to manage our risk from COVID-19: Get vaccinated for the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. The risk is much higher for people who are not vaccinated. Wear a tight-fitting mask for an extra layer of protection. Wash your hands often and wait six feet from others. Get tested if you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. And if you test positive, treatments are available. NCDHHS has updated its COVID-19 dashboard to reflect the best metrics for this stage of the pandemic. As trends rise and fall, you can choose to add layers of protection to mitigate your risk. Find wellness resources.