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  5. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions


Along with other federal, state, and local agencies and public health officials across the country, the FDA continues critical work to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find the most recent FDA updates on our Coronavirus Disease 2019 page.

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) on this page are for a general public or consumer audience. Other audiences may want to refer to additional FAQs:

General Information 

A: A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Vaccines, Biologics, Human Tissues, and Blood Products

A: Biological products include a wide range of products such as vaccines, blood and blood components, allergenics, somatic cells, gene therapy, tissues, and recombinant therapeutic proteins. Biologics can be composed of sugars, proteins, or nucleic acids or complex combinations of these substances, or may be living entities such as cells and tissues.

Drugs (Medicines)

A: At this time, there are no FDA-approved drug products to treat COVID-19. The FDA is working with drug manufacturers and investigational new drug sponsors to expedite the development and availability of COVID-19 treatments. Read more about FDA’s actions to address the novel coronavirus with medical countermeasures and learn how the FDA’s Sentinel System is being used to monitor the use of drugs, describe the course of illness among hospitalized patients, and evaluate the treatment impact of therapies actively being used under real-world conditions.

Researchers are studying new drugs and drugs that are already approved for other health conditions as possible treatments for COVID-19. FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for drugs that may be used to treat COVID-19 given that there are currently no approved alternatives. CDC has more information for health care providers about these potential treatments.

Medical Devices Including Tests for COVID-19

A: Yes, FDA has authorized two different types of tests (diagnostic and antibody tests) for use during the COVID-19 emergency. Though there are currently no FDA-approved or cleared tests for COVID-19, the FDA has issued over 100 Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for such tests . These EUAs allow the emergency use of tests during the COVID-19 emergency when FDA determines certain criteria are met. These criteria include that the test may be effective at diagnosing or detecting antibodies to COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks. Read more about COVID-19 tests.

Food Products

A: In some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing generally are widely dispersed throughout the U.S., however; there is a significant shift in where consumers are buying food during the pandemic. While food use in large-scale establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, sports arenas/stadiums and universities suddenly declined, the demand for food at grocery stores increased.  

The FDA has issued temporary guidance to provide flexibility in packaging and labeling requirements to support food supply chains and get foods to the consumer retail marketplace. FDA is closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores. Watch a video on food safety and availability during the coronavirus pandemic.

Animals, Pets and Animal Drug Products

A: There is a very small number of animals around the world reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after having contact with a person with COVID-19. There is currently no evidence that animals are a source of COVID-19 infection in the United States. 

Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a potential infection.

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

Talk to your veterinarian if your pet gets sick or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.