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South Plains Public Health District
Serving The Communities Of
Gaines, Yoakum, Terry, & Dawson Counties

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Watch for symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

When to seek emergency medical attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

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.

Caring for yourself or others

What is the difference between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19?

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

There are some key differences between flu and COVID-19. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. Another important difference is there is a vaccine to protect against flu. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. More information about differences between flu and COVID-19 is available in the different sections below.

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.

While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. This page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.

When to Quarentine

Health departments: Detailed CDC recommendations for public health agencies on the duration of quarantine can be found here.

Local public health authorities determine and establish the quarantine options for their jurisdictions. Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Quarantine or isolation: What's the difference?

Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.

Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.

Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Steps to take

Stay home and monitor your health

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19

Options to reduce quarantine

Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing the time they cannot work. A shorter quarantine period also can lessen stress on the public health system, especially when new infections are rapidly rising.

Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine

  • After day 10 without testing
  • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

After stopping quarantine, you should

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed. See Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing for guidance on options to reduce quarantine.

Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection of the virus that causes COVID-19

Cases of reinfection of COVID-19 have been reported but are rare. In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again. Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected.

Isolate If You Are Sick

Isolation is used to separate people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from people who are not infected.

People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).

Isolation or Quarantine: What's the difference?

Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others.

Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.

Who needs to isolate?

People who have COVID-19

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19 and are able to recover at home
  • People who have no symptoms (are asymptomatic) but have tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2

Steps to take

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils
  • Wear a mask when around other people, if you are able to

Learn more about what to do if you are sick.

Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection of the virus that causes COVID-19

Cases of reinfection of COVID-19 have been reported but are rare. In general, reinfection means a person was infected (got sick) once, recovered, and then later became infected again. Based on what we know from similar viruses, some reinfections are expected.

When you can be around others after you had or likely had COVID-19

When you can be around others (end home isolation) depends on different factors for different situations.

Find CDC’s recommendations for your situation below.

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

You can be with others after

  • At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving**Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​

If you had severe illness from COVID-19 (you were admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen), your healthcare provider may recommend that you stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after your symptoms first appeared (possibly up to 20 days) and you may need to finish your period of isolation at home.

I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after:

  • 10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID, and I had symptoms.”

I had COVID-19 or I tested positive for COVID-19 and I have a weakened immune system

If you have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised) due to a health condition or medication, you might need to stay home and isolate longer than 10 days. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.

Your doctor may work with an infectious disease expert at your local health department to determine when you can be around others.

Getting testing again for COVID-19

If you have recovered from your symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19, you may continue to test positive for three months or more without being contagious to others. For this reason, you should be tested only if you develop new symptoms of possible COVID-19. Getting tested again should be discussed with your healthcare provider, especially if you have been in close contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

If you have symptoms and test positive for COVID-19, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID, and I had symptoms.” Your doctor may work with an infectious disease expert at your local health department to determine when you can be around others.

Gaines County


04-13-2021

COVID-19 Update Gaines County
Gaines County total cases: 1429
0 New case confirmed
2 Active
1405 Recovered
23 Deaths


Dawson County

04-13-2021

COVID-19 Update Dawson County
Dawson County total cases: 1729
3 New case confirmed
3 Active
1692 Recovered
34 Deaths


Terry County

04-13-2021

COVID-19 Update Terry County
Terry County total cases: 1690
1 New cases confirmed
1 Active
1644 Recovered
45 Deaths


Yoakum County

04-13-2021

COVID-19 Update Yoakum County
Yoakum County total cases: 870
2 New cases confirmed
2 Active
853 Recovered
15 Deaths


Lynn County

04-13-2021

COVID-19 Update Lynn County
Lynn County total cases: 618
1 New cases confirmed
1 Active
609 Recovered
8 Deaths


Risk Categories for COVID-19

ar Exposure to a symptomatic confirmed case Management High Living in the same household as, being an intimate partner of, or providing care in a non-healthcare setting (such as a home) for a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection without using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation Active Monitoring - Daily contact with the health department
Restriction to home
Immediate isolation and notification to the health department if symptomatic. Medium Close contact with a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Living in the same household as, an intimate partner of, or caring for a person in a non-healthcare setting (such as a home) to a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection while consistently using recommended precautions for home care and home isolation Self-Monitoring- take temperature daily watch for signs and symptoms
Recommendation to remain at home or in a comparable setting Practice social distancing
Immediate isolation and notification to the health department if symptomatic. Low Being in the same indoor environment (e.g., a classroom, a hospital waiting room) as a person with symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time but not meeting the definition of close contact Self-observation self-assess for temperature and symptoms
Practice social distancing Immediate isolation if becomes symptomatic. Stay at home. Seek medical advice if you develop severe symptoms. Download here