Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, meaning there are several strains of coronavirus. Health care providers have seen coronavirus for years and regularly test for the common strains. When COVID-19 was first detected, it warranted intensive surveillance by the CDC because it was a novel strain, meaning it was a strain that had not been seen before.

Viruses change through mutation and new variants of a virus can occur. Some variants allow the virus to spread more easily. There are now several variants of the COVID-19 virus, including the delta variant and the omicron variant, which both spread more easily than the original virus. Sometimes people can spread the virus to others even if they have no symptoms.


Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild symptoms to severe illness and vary by individual. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus and include one or more of the following:

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


According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and deaths from variants of the virus, including current variants. Updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax are recommended by the CDC for everyone 5 years of age and older who haven't received a COVID-19 vaccine in the past two months. Children 6 months to 4 years of age need multiple doses to be up to date.

Children 5-11 years old who are unvaccinated should get one Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, while everyone aged 12 years and older who is unvaccinated should either get one Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or two doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.


Anyone can contract COVID-19, but those most at risk of developing severe cases include:

  • Older adults, especially those over 65 who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Immunocompromised or those with a weakened immune system
  • Those with other underlying health conditions, such as obesity, COPD or other chronic lung diseases


Maury Regional Health follows CDC guidelines for testing. Patients experiencing symptoms listed above and/or who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 should always call before arriving at any health care location and wear a mask. If you are urgently ill, please inform 911, the ambulance staff and/or emergency department registration staff that you may have COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19, the CDC recommends staying home for at least five days and isolate from others in your home. If you have symptoms, you may end isolation after five days if your symptoms are improving and you are fever-free for 24 hours. Continue to isolate if your symptoms don't improve after five days until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, including acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), ibuprofen (Advil and others) and aspirin.


The Tennessee Department of Health and CDC gather data related to the spread of COVID-19 and vaccination rates.