PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Coughs and sneezes are heard all around the grocery store, at work and on public transportation.

It’s clear it’s the middle of cold, flu and allergy season, but this season comes as COVID-19 still lingers across the United States.

Dr. Shyam Joshi, assistant professor of allergy and clinical immunology at the OHSU School of Medicine talks about allergies during the time of COVID.

Allergy season reportedly started about a month earlier this year than it typically does. Now, Oregonians are experiencing the peak of tree pollen season, while grass pollen season is just around the corner.

Many people may be wondering how to tell if their runny noses are just allergies or a symptom of COVID-19, and Dr. Joshi says that can be difficult.

Despite some of the symptoms being similar, he said with allergies people typically experience more sneezing or itchy and watery eyes. Those with COVID on the other hand will likely have a fever, chills, body aches or loss of smell and taste.