Commonly Asked Questions

What is Coronavirus or COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a virus that causes a respiratory illness known as SARS-CoV. It is a new strain of virus that previously only infected animals, but now is able to infect humans and can be passed person-to-person.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Can I get COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 is now spreading from person to person in almost every part of the world. Risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19 is higher for people who are in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19, for example, healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with an ongoing spread of COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Symptoms can appear like a number of other illnesses such as the flu and include:

  • Fever
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Who is at higher risk if infected with COVID-19?

Some people are at higher risk for more serious symptoms from COVID-19:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of any age with the following:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • Serious heart conditions
    • Severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40)
    • Diabetes
    • Renal failure
    • Liver disease
    • Immunocompromised including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • Women who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk.

Is there a vaccine or a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, but scientists around the world are working to identify whether any existing drugs can help. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.

How can I protect myself and my family?

  • Stay at home: check the advice in your local area, but in general staying at home and avoiding public places, public transport or interacting with other people will protect yourself and also help break the chain of infection to other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub (with at least 60% alcohol) or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Maintain social distancing: Maintain at 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone who doesn’t live with you, especially if they are coughing or sneezing. Restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash your hands after if you do.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

Getting tested: Testing for COVID-19 is currently limited in many states. Call your PCP or speak with your therapist at Mindstrong for up to date information on local testing centres. Depending on where you are located, you may not be able to receive a test or enter a hospital.

Mild symptoms: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. It is important you stay at home to prevent spreading the infection to others.

  • Stay home: Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Ask a relative, friend or neighbor to help you get food and medical supplies.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you visit a medical center. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.

Severe symptoms: If you develop any of the following symptoms get medical attention immediately:*

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.

We advise visiting the CDC website for up to date information on the unfolding situation.