We are here to help you. If you have questions on testing and treatment, or need help finding a location or making an appointment for vaccinations (including boosters), operators are available to assist you. Call 855-MD-GoVAX (855-634-6829).
At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits
The Maryland Department of Health distributes free at-home rapid test kits to local health departments and community partners statewide to make COVID-19 tests available for you and your family. Plan ahead – keep COVID test kits handy at home for rapid diagnosis.
The COVID-19 booster shot strengthens our defenses against COVID and its variants. Learn more about the importance of keeping up on recommended boosters to give yourself, and your family, the best protection against COVID-19.
Important info about COVID-19
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive, you should self-isolate at home. You can be with others after:
- At least 5 days from the date your symptoms started OR if you do not have symptoms, 5 days from the date of your positive test; and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication; and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.
You must continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days (through day 10). If you are unable to wear a mask around others, you should remain in isolation for a total of 10 days. If you need help determining the length of your isolation, use the CDC’s COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Calculator.
Continue to practice good hygiene, including frequent and thorough hand washing, disinfecting “high-touch” surfaces, and frequently washing clothing and bedding. Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets. Practice physical distancing within the home and wear a mask around other people.
Let your close contacts know they have been exposed to COVID-19.
Also, please answer the call or text from MD COVID or (240) 466-4488, or complete the Contact Tracing Web Survey to help Maryland contact tracers slow the spread of COVID-19.
*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.
What is a COVID-19 vaccine?
A COVID-vaccine is one way to prevent serious illness due to COVID-19. Vaccination causes your body to create antibodies without getting sick with the COVID-19 disease. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and other experts will provide recommendations on priority groups and when groups should be vaccinated. Guidance on determining and providing the vaccine to priority groups will be based on the principles included in the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Interim Updated Planning Guidance on Allocating and Targeting Pandemic Influenza Vaccine During an Influenza Pandemic.
How do we know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA).
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines will undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
Do the COVID-19 vaccines have any side effects?
After the COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that may indicate your body is building immunities to protect you from the virus. The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.
Is a COVID-19 vaccine necessary?
COVID-19 infections can be a minor hindrance or lead to severe disease or even death. There are many reasons to get vaccinated.
- Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
- Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
- Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
If you have recovered or are recovering from COVID-19, you can connect with others who have been through the same experience on CovidCONNECT.
CovidCONNECT is a free platform where you can share your recovery story, learn about research opportunities, find mental health resources and more. Register to participate today.