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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  COVID-19 can cause fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.  Most people with COVID-19 will have a mild cold and get better with appropriate home care and without the need to see a medical provider.

What is the test for COVID-19? 
The healthcare worker will take a sample of fluid from your nose with a nasal swab.  This fluid will undergo special PRC testing at an outside lab.

What does a negative test result mean? 
A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample.  Usually this means you do not have COVID-19.  However, it is possible for the test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with COVID-19.  We recommend home isolation for all respiratory illnesses at this time.

How do you treat COVID-19?
There is no specific treatment for most viruses, including COVID-19.  Most people recover on their own.  Here are steps you can take to help you get better;

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take over-the-counter cold and flu medications to reduce fever and pain.  Note that these medications do not “cure” the illness and therefore do not stop you from spreading the germs.

When should I seek medical care? 
If you have difficulty breathing, can’t keep fluids down, or get confused you should definitely seek medical care.  Please be sure to notify the healthcare facility ahead of time so they can protect others from contracting your illness.  If you do visit a healthcare facility, put on a mask to protect other patients and staff.

What is home isolation? 
Home isolation is a way to help prevent the spread of the disease to other people in your home and community.

  • Stay home when you are sick.  Do not go to work, school, or public places.  If you must leave home avoid public transportation, ride-shares, and taxis.  Wear a mask.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.  Stay in a specific room and away from other people as much as possible.  Use a separate bathroom, if available.  Try to stay at least 6 feet from others.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.  Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items.  Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people.  Wash them thoroughly with soap and water after use.
  • Clean your hands often.  Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  You can also use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces on your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.  Use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean “high-touch” surfaces every day.  High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.