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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

What is a coronavirus? 

A coronavirus causes a viral infection. It affects the respiratory (breathing) system. You may have heard of other coronaviruses like MERS and SARS. A new strain of coronavirus is now in the United States. This is the virus on the news that first showed up in China.

What is the name of the disease caused by this new coronavirus?

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the new name of this disease is “coronavirus disease 2019”. For short, it is called COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe. These symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Chills.
  • Repeated shaking with chills.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Headache.
  • Sore throat.
  • New loss of taste or smell.

How do coronaviruses spread?

Coronaviruses can live in the air and on surfaces. That means they can spread like many other viruses. Sneezing, coughing, and coming in contact with an infected person can put you at risk.

What can I do to help prevent getting the coronavirus?

As of now, there are no vaccines for this coronavirus. But there are other things you can do to help prevent illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home and workplace.
  • Don’t touch your face, nose, or mouth.
  • Cover your face with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, then throw the tissue away.
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.

What do I do if I think I’m getting sick?

If you think you are getting sick, call your primary care provider. He or she can help find out what condition you have and the best way to get better. In case of an emergency, call 911.

How do I know if I am at high risk?

Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions are at high risk. Those conditions include:

  • Asthma.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Diabetes.
  • Heart disease.
  • Kidney disease.

I am pregnant. Am I at high risk?

There are no reports about the risk to pregnant women and children from COVID-19. This is something that is still being studied. Pregnant women should follow the same prevention tips as other people.

Where can I get tested?

If you have any questions about whether you should be tested, call your primary care provider. They will work with the state, the local public health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Is coronavirus testing covered under my benefits and services?

Yes, as long as it is ordered by your doctor.

What is social distancing?

According to the CDC, social distancing means:

  • Stay out of crowded places.
  • Avoid group gatherings.
  • Maintain distance (about six feet or two meters) from others when you can.

I am feeling overwhelmed/scared/stressed about the coronavirus. What can I do?

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, call:

  • Nurse Call Line at 1-844-897-5021.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517).

If you feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911.

Call your primary care provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information.

Where can I go for more information?
For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus and COVID-19, visit: