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COVID-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that led to a global pandemic from 2020-2023. Most people who contract COVID-19 have cold or flu-like symptoms, with some cases leading to severe illness.

Over one million Americans died from COVID-19 during the pandemic. Many of these deaths were preventable and put a spotlight on health inequities, political polarization and public health underfunding that already existed in the U.S. and persist today.

What's Next

The federal COVID-19 public health emergency ended in May 2023, but the virus remains a threat. Prevention and treatment are key to keep our communities safe and healthy. Everyone eligible should get updated COVID-19 vaccines as they become available.

Illustrations of a black man, a young woman and an elderly black woman wearing a mask all sport white bandages following vaccination on a yellow background with two illustrations of the COVID-19 virus and text below of “The emergency is over, but COVID is not gone.” along with the APHAlogo.

Feeling sick?

According to , people with respiratory symptoms should:

  • Stay home until fever free for 24 hours without medications and symptoms are improving.
  • For the next five days, take extra precautions when around others indoors. 

Remember, COVID-19 vaccines are still free for everyone.

Access to testing and treatment will vary depending on insurance status. 

The Bridge Access Program for COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments provides funding to help maintain access to COVID-19 care for uninsured adults. Learn more and share about the program with this one-page overview (PDF) and talking points (PDF).

Find the most current information from the and the . 


Throughout the pandemic, APHAurged the public health community to share science-based information with the public and spoke out for outbreak response funding and support. See a selection of our resources: