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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


This guide provides information on the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), formerly referred to as 2019 novel coronavirus and 2019-nCoV, which causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. It is one of the rare coronaviruses that originated in an animal, infected one or more person(s), and then spread between people. It was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

The federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration ended on May 11, 2023. Relevant news and updates on tests, vaccines, and variants that may be of interest will be posted under Hot Topics > 2023 Updates.

Hot Topics

For information on assessing whether you need medical care or a test, finding a testing location, or ordering an at-home test, see the Assessment & Testing section below.

General Information
Children & Teens
State & Local Information

Is It Flu, COVID-19, Allergies, or a Cold?

NIH News in Health COVID-19, cold, flu, and allergies comparison chart

Source: NIH News in Health, January 2022 (Includes a more detailed chart)


For more information, see Virus Differences in the Hot Topics below.

Assessment & Testing

According to the CDC, infected people have had a wide range of symptoms--from mild to severe--including cough, shortness of breath, fever, and other symptoms.


For a complete list of recalls, see 2023 Medical Device Recalls and search for COVID-19 or SARS-CoV2.

Testing Locations

If you suspect that you may have COVID-19, use one of the links below to do a self assessment to help you determine your next steps regarding medical care or to find a testing location:

At-Home Testing

Online Resources

About This Guide

This guide was developed as part of the EVMS Library's commitment to addressing our community’s most pressing health needs through outreach. Our goal is to improve the health information seeking process and understanding of patients, family members, students, and other members of our Hampton Roads community through increased awareness and use of reliable, freely available, authoritative health information.

We also aim to support the information needs of local public library staff and health professionals who also serve our community. Library staff and health professionals, we'd like to hear from you! Please let us know how you are using our guide at



Developed resources reported in this subject guide are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012340 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.