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Slowing the Spread FAQs

  • Where, how, and when can I get vaccinated?

    Last Updated: 05/05/2021
    All individuals aged 16 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. There are multiple ways to get an appointment including: Use the NJ Vaccine Appointment...
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  • How can I prevent myself from getting the virus?

    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...
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  • Who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey?

    Last Updated: 04/19/2021
    All individuals aged 16 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines are available to all New Jerseyans, regardless of immigration or insurance stat...
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  • Should I wear a mask to stop the spread of COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 02/18/2021
    Always wear a mask over your nose and mouth in public spaces. Even if you don't feel sick, germs can spread to others through respiratory droplets produced by breathing, talking, sneezing, and coug...
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  • What Is Contact Tracing? How Does It Stop The Spread of COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 10/24/2020
    As part of the State's plan to safely restart the economy, we are implementing a comprehensive contact tracing program. For more information, visit the New Jersey COVID-19 Testing and Contact Traci...
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  • How do I get the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? What if I got my first shot in a different state?

    Last Updated: 05/05/2021
    Everyone should receive two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in order to have maximum protection against the virus. The second dose of the vaccine must be the same brand as the first. These ...
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  • How do I know when a contact tracer is calling? How do I know it's not a scam? What will they ask me?

    Last Updated: 10/24/2020
    Contact tracers are calling with life-saving information that will keep you, your loved ones, and your community safe and healthy. When a New Jersey contact tracer calls, it's because you tested po...
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  • How do I know if I am an asymptomatic carrier?

    The only definitive way to know if you have COVID-19 is by getting tested. Testing is now available to everyone in New Jersey. Find a testing location near you by visiting covid19.nj.gov/testing. I...
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  • If two people are suspected to be infected, can they quarantine in close proximity to each other?

    Unless it is unavoidable, two people 'suspected' of being infected should not quarantine together if they will have contact with each other or the potential to spread the disease between one anothe...
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  • Can the coronavirus spread through sweat?

    There is no evidence that the virus can be spread through sweat. However, the virus can be transmitted in places like gyms by other means - through respiratory droplets that pass from person to per...
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  • Is it safe to read my mail or the newspaper or handle packages delivered to my house?

    The likelihood of becoming infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 from mail, newspapers, or packages is quite low. Out of an abundance of caution during the pandemic, when handling or reading...
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  • Can just hot water kill the COVID-19 virus on surfaces? If yes, for how long?

    No, hot water alone cannot kill the virus that causes COVID-19 on surfaces. The virus (SARS-CoV-2) has a fat-based envelope that makes it very susceptible to detergents and alcohol. While it is lik...
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  • What should I do if I think my co-worker has COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 11/24/2020
    NOTE: It's important to prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace. Employees should not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin and be sure to maintain confidentiali...
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  • What are common misconceptions about contact tracing?

    Last Updated: 10/24/2020
    Q: If I test positive for COVID-19, do I have to tell the contact tracer everyone I was in close contact with? Your help is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting your loved ones...
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  • How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 03/09/2021
    Our first responders and health care workers are saving lives every day -- so can you. Your family, your friends, your neighbors -- their lives are literally in your hands. Here's how you can do yo...
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  • Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

    Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to pr...
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  • How you can help the State’s contact tracing program? How can I become a contact tracer?

    Last Updated: 10/24/2020
    Answer The Call – Protect Your Loved Ones – Stop COVID-19 Your help is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting your loved ones. Contact tracers are calling with life-saving in...
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  • Is it safe to visit a newborn baby? If not, how long should I stay away?

    Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for detailed information about precautions to take regarding newborns.
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  • Am I at risk if I touch someone who died of COVID-19 after they have passed away?

    COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (i.e., within about 6 feet) with a person who is cu...
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  • How is the State tracing so many contacts?

    Last Updated: 02/25/2021
    As testing of individuals for COVID-19 increases, so does the need for contact tracers to conduct interviews with individuals who may have come into contact with those who tested positive. It is es...
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  • Can getting the flu shot, or vaccines against pneumonia, help ward off pneumonia brought on by COVID-19?

    There is no evidence that getting the vaccination against influenza will help against COVID-19. They are different viruses and the antibodies that protect us from one virus do not protect us agains...
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  • For Contact Tracing, Who is Considered A Close Contact?

    Last Updated: 10/24/2020
    For contact tracing purposes, a "close contact" is anyone who spent 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period and was within 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 while they were infectious (2...
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  • How Is My Data Being Used and How Is My Privacy Being Protected When Contact Tracing?

    Last Updated: 10/24/2020
    Your information is confidential. Your name will not be released to your contacts or your COVID-19 status – that information will only be known to public health officials and our local health dep...
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  • How do pregnant people or new mothers stay safe? What rules are in place for labor and delivery during COVID-19?

    Last Updated: 04/14/2021
    In partnership with the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the Department of Health has issued guidance for pregnant individuals and health care providers to ensure they can obtain safe and ...
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  • How can I volunteer as a health care professional or join the Medical Reserve Corps? What if I’m retired, out of state, licensed in a foreign country, or just graduated with a degree in a health care-related field?

    Last Updated: 02/24/2021
    Thank you for your interest in serving the State of New Jersey and helping to save lives during this public health crisis. As part of the state's ongoing effort to combat COVID-19, the State of New...
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  • What is community spread?

    Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dra...
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  • Is hand sanitizer effective against the virus?

    If used properly, alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is an effective way to kill the COVID-19 virus. Hand sanitizer is often faster and easier, however if you have the option, y...
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  • Why aren't we asking only the most vulnerable in our communities to self-isolate instead of the entire population?

    While the elderly and those with certain underlying health conditions are most at risk for severe COVID-19, many young, healthy people are also becoming very ill and requiring hospitalization, or e...
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  • Is it safe to eat takeout food?

    Properly prepared cooked food is unlikely to get you sick with COVID-19. Although there could be some risk from the person-to-person interaction of picking up food or getting delivery, this might s...
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  • Is Bactine effective as hand sanitizer against COVID-19 virus?

    According to the active ingredients list, Bactine uses Benzalkonium as an antiseptic (as substance that stops germs). One recent study found that Benzalkoium is not as effective as alcohol-based sa...
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  • Can children catch the COVID-19 virus at school?

    Yes. Respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19, are spread when people come into contact with one another. This means that any place where people gather in close proximity can lead to viral tr...
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  • Can people infected with COVID-19 spread the disease before appearing to be ill?

    Yes. 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 COVI...
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  • Where has New Jersey established field medical stations for COVID-19 response?

    Last Updated: 07/08/2020
    The East Orange Alternate Care Site, located in a former physical therapy rehabilitation center, has space set aside for individuals in isolation who have tested positive for COVID-19, don't have s...
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  • What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?

    To determine if you are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and learn the proper precautions, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website. Drafted 3 December 2020
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  • How do I safely handle deliveries and interact with in-home service providers?

    Last Updated: 04/15/2021
    DELIVERIES Packages There is low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. The main way people are infected with COVID-19 is...
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  • What's the best guidance for cleaning a facility when someone may have been sick?

    Last Updated: 04/20/2020
    It is recommended to close off areas used by anyone who is ill or has symptoms and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respira...
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  • Why close schools if children do not get very sick with COVID-19?

    Even children who do not show symptoms may still carry the disease and pass it on to others. COVID-19 can easily be transmitted from person to person, and people do not have pre-existing immunity. ...
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  • How can I get infected?

    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...
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  • Should I wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    Yes. At least one-third of people infected with the novel coronavirus will not exhibit symptoms and could be able to spread COVID-19 to others by breathing or talking. Furthermore, those who are in...
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  • Would closing schools help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    In the past, closing schools does appear to have helped to control the spread of viruses like influenza. This is because children tend to be very susceptible to common human respiratory viruses. Th...
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  • Since there is a shortage of masks, is it possible to make your own?

    Yes, it is possible to make your own cloth face coverings. Here is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resource with instructions for making masks. Updated 3 December 2020
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  • Is it safe to go...to the gym...on playdates...to parties...out to the bars for drinks...to sleepovers...to friends’ or family members’ homes for meals or visits...to coffee shops...?

    Spread of the COVID-19 virus makes visiting the gym, and all social interactions, riskier. Many facilities have already shut down or put in place safety precautions, and more and more localities ar...
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  • How can I take care of myself at home?

    If you have possible or confirmed COVID-19: Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxi...
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  • How do I prevent myself from becoming sick when taking care of someone who is already sick?

    Have the person stay in one room, away from other people, including yourself, as much as possible. If possible, have them use a separate bathroom. Avoid sharing personal household items, like dish...
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  • When should I wash my hands?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines for when people should wash their hands, such as: Before, during, and after preparing food. Before eating food. Before and after carin...
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  • What is the best way to use hand sanitizer?

    The best technique is to apply about a dime-sized amount, and then carefully and thoroughly rub it over the palms and the back of the hands and let it dry completely. Hand sanitizer is a good way t...
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  • Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

    We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations. Until we learn more about this new coronavirus, you should restrict contact with...
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  • Where can I find guidance on best practices to maintain the health and safety of seasonal farm workers? What rules are in place and what resources are available?

    Last Updated: 02/18/2021
    Note: The article below summarizes guidance from the 2020 season. Please watch for updates regarding the 2021 season. Under Executive Order No. 192, summarized below, all employers must adhere to n...
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  • What should I do if an outbreak occurs near me?

    Just like people should prepare for hurricanes, people should be prepared in case of a pandemic. People should have a two-week supply of food, water, and necessary prescription and non-prescription...
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  • What is the New Jersey “Shot and a Beer” program? What breweries are participating?

    Last Updated: 05/07/2021
    In partnership with the Brewer's Guild of New Jersey, the Governor's Office and the Department of Health have launched the "Shot and a Beer" program to encourage eligible New Jerseyans ages 21 and ...
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  • Should I get a flu shot?

    Last Updated: 04/30/2021
    Yes, the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health strongly recommend everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year. Although flu vaccination is recommended before the end of ...
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  • What is the State doing to protect residents and staff of nursing homes or long-term care facilities?

    Last Updated: 04/28/2021
    COVID-19 has devastated long-term care facilities and nursing homes in New Jersey and across the nation. In an effort to protect the lives of residents and staff at these facilities, the State has ...
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  • How can I safely celebrate Ramadan or other holidays?

    Last Updated: 04/13/2021
    Given the continued spread of COVID-19, only celebrate the holidays with immediate household members if possible. Indoor gatherings are particularly dangerous places for the virus to spread. Consid...
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  • How can I avoid vaccine scams?

    Last Updated: 04/12/2021
    The FBI has issued an alert warning of several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines to illegally obtain sensitive personal information or money. Signs of potential COVID-19 vaccine s...
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  • COVID Alert NJ: Overview

    Last Updated: 04/07/2021
    What is COVID Alert NJ? COVID Alert NJ is a New Jersey's free, and secure mobile app that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-...
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  • COVID Alert NJ: Technical Specifications and User Experience

    Last Updated: 04/07/2021
    I'm receiving a 1002 or 1005 error during onboarding, what do I do about this? If you were connected to Wi-Fi during the onboarding screens, please disable Wi-Fi, and then proceed through onboardin...
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  • I lost my COVID-19 vaccination card. How do I get a new copy?

    Last Updated: 04/06/2021
    If you lost your COVID-19 vaccination card, you can request your immunization record by visiting the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS). Once on this page, complete the following ac...
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  • What should I do if I think I've been exposed to COVID-19? Should I quarantine? How long do I have to stay home?

    Last Updated: 03/24/2021
    You should quarantine and stay at home away from others if you were in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more over 24-hours) with someone who had COVID-19, if you participated in a hig...
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  • How can I get help with scheduling a vaccine appointment?

    Last Updated: 03/17/2021
    If you need help scheduling a vaccination appointment, try the following: Vaccine Call Center The Vaccine Call Center (1-855-568-0545) is available to register individuals in the NJ Vaccine Schedul...
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  • How do COVID-19 vaccines work?

    Last Updated: 03/01/2021
    Vaccines work by triggering a person's immune system to develop protection against a disease. COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having ...
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  • COVID Alert NJ: Using COVID Alert NJ

    Last Updated: 02/24/2021
    How do users report themselves as positive for COVID-19? When an individual receives a positive test result, they will be contacted by a Department of Health public health representative and have t...
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  • COVID Alert NJ: I'm receiving a 1002 or 1005 error during onboarding, what do I do about this?

    Last Updated: 10/07/2020
    I'm receiving a 1002 or 1005 error during onboarding, what do I do about this? If you were connected to Wi-Fi during the onboarding screens, please disable Wi-Fi, and then proceed through onboardin...
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  • COVID Alert NJ: Community Toolkit

    Last Updated: 09/30/2020
    How can I share COVID Alert NJ with my family, friends, and social network? Please visit COVID Alert NJ's Community Toolkit to view and download over a dozen of resources to help you share the app,...
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  • COVID Alert NJ: Data/Privacy

    Last Updated: 09/30/2020
    Does COVID Alert NJ track a user's location? COVID Alert NJ does not use, track, or collect any geolocation or GPS data. It works exclusively through Bluetooth proximity detection. Is COVID Alert N...
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  • COVID Alert NJ: Traditional Contact Tracing

    Last Updated: 09/30/2020
    What is traditional contact tracing and how does it work? Contact tracing is a long-standing vital public health tool used in New Jersey and throughout the world to identify infected individuals an...
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