Frequently asked questions
COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a new respiratory disease thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Currently, those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have had prolonged, unprotected close contact with a patient with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 and/or those who live in or have recently been to areas with sustained transmission.
The onset and period of infectiousness for COVID-19 are not yet known. Current study suggests that the incubation period may range from 2–14 days. The virus is now spreading from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and then spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Stay home when you feel sick and avoid close contact with others who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth, because this is where viruses can enter.
- Always cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw that tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing – or if you have travelled to an area affected by the current strain of coronavirus – please let your physician know immediately.
No, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms similar to a cold, including fever, runny nose and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at any higher risk or more susceptible to COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, infections in children are less common and adults make up most of the known cases to date.
Patients without symptoms or with mild to moderate symptoms will likely not be tested for the virus. A positive test does not change the course of the illness. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill should self- isolate, practice social distancing and care for themselves at home.
You might be tested for COVID-19 if you meet the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently, the CDC advises that clinicians should determine whether to order a test based on specific parameters. COVID-19 tests are not intended to be an assessment of your risk, but rather to confirm cases in symptomatic patients. If you are worried but don’t have symptoms, please stay home. Going to a doctor’s office or hospital adds to a higher concentration of people and further overwhelms the medical staff.
Our facilities deal with communicable diseases on a daily basis and we will continue to take precautionary measures as we always have. We have strong protocols in place and are following all guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure a safe environment.
- Every patient, visitor and vendor is screened outside of our primary lobbies, ER entrances and loading docks.
- Points of entry to our facilities have been limited.
- As we often do during heavy influenza outbreaks, visitor restrictions have been instituted in patient care areas.
- We have done, and continue to do, deep cleaning throughout all of our care sites.
- Our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated to coordinate daily communication and response across all of our hospitals.
Our facilities are safe places to seek care, no matter what your health need. Since well before the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, our facilities have taken measures to create a safe environment. Now, as ever, we have strong protocols in place and are following all guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Along with many other precautions, we have been proactive and ready with all supplies related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masks, gowns and any resources necessary for precautionary isolation of symptomatic patients. The safety of our patients is and always has been our first priority and we will continue to provide safe, effective, patient-centered care.