COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate, like the common cold. But it can be more severe in older adults and people with chronic health conditions.
The virus is most likely to be spread from person to person by droplets when coughing and from contact with surfaces where those droplets have landed. Since this virus is new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads.
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In anticipation of the approval of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of Health is working with many other state, federal, and local agencies to plan for the fast and equitable distribution of a vaccine to all New Jersey communities. It is the goal of the Department of Health to make safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination available to all who live, work, and/or are educated in New Jersey.
This page and the resources available here will continue to evolve as that effort moves forward.
What you need to know
How can I prevent myself from getting the virus?
Last Updated: 10/29/2020
COVID-19 spreads when a person with the virus coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes. Small droplets drift in the air and are breathed in, or larger droplets land on the body or objects, allowing SARS-CoV-2 to enter the body when one touches them and then touches their face around their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Spread can be prevented by the combination of keeping your distance (six feet or more) from people, wearing cloth face coverings, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, ventilating homes and buildings, and practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands.
Everyone should wear face coverings because around 40 percent of those infected with SARS-CoV-2 may not show symptoms, so it's not clear who is or is not infected and capable of spreading COVID-19 at any one time.
What you need to know
Will the coronavirus survive in the refrigerator or freezer?
Last Updated: 3/14/2020
A 2010 study used two viruses that are related to the COVID-19 virus to look at the effects of temperature and humidity on viral survival. Researchers found that both lower temperatures and lower humidity helped viruses survive longer. In particular, at 4 degrees C, or 40 degrees F, and 20% relative humidity, more than two thirds of the viruses survived for 28 days. On the other end of the spectrum, at 40 degrees C, or 104 degrees F, and 80% humidity, the viruses survived for less than 6 hours.
This suggests that coronaviruses survive better on surfaces at colder temperatures. It is also expected that the virus would survive being frozen.
It is important to wash your hands and your produce, following sound food handling guidelines. Also, clean surfaces using approved disinfectants.