Frequently Asked Questions About The Coronavirus
At UrgentCare.com we realize that we are all feeling anxious and concerned about the Coronavirus and are seeking answers. One of the many things we can do to do our part in the fight against the Coronavirus is to be informed with accurate, reliable information from credible sources in order to prevent the spread not only of the virus, but also false information and rumors. We want to assist you get through this tough time.
Everyone wants to help and we too want to do our small part and assisting you with accurate information from the top health and governmental agency experts is our way of contributing to the fight and your well being.
Rest assured that UrgentCare.com is carefully monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment and as this health crisis evolves we will be updating our information, sometimes daily, as more information, advice, and guidelines are released by the CDC and your local and state Department of Public Health and Human Services. Your best defense against this virus is to arm yourself with current, accurate information you can trust and implement to protect yourself and others. You can come to this site to find answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions we receive here at UrgentCare.com and the latest information on testing and treatment for COVID-19. We will keep the information updated as information and advisories are made from these reliable sources, so you can rely on a convenient source of current, accurate information.
Q: What is the Coronavirus?
A: The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that is transmitted from person to person. The COVID-19 virus was first identified as a “novel coronavirus” which means new or unusual. The Coronavirus has been around for a long time, but this is a new strain that researchers knew little about when it originated in Wuhan, China in 2019, hence its name COVID-19. The virus is believed to have spread from infected animals being sold in the Wuhan wet market to humans for consumption, which typically is very unusual. The Wuhan, China area was the origin of the outbreak and the virus quickly spread to other parts of China and countries around the world. The CDChttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html has been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak since it began and is continuing to do so providing the public with its findings and guidelines for public health and safety.
Q: What are the symptoms of the Coronavirus?
A: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents symptoms that are much like the flu or a common cold, typically 2 to 14 days after having been exposed to the virus. COVID-19 patients report having flu like symptoms with mild to severe respiratory illness that may lead to serious illness or death.
The symptoms may include any or all of the following:
- Shortness of breath
If you have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with or is awaiting test results for COVID-19, have recently traveled to or from an area where there is currently widespread transmission (hot spots) in the community of the virus, or have developed COVID-19 symptoms you should contact your healthcare physician or local Health Department for instructions on how to be tested and self isolation guidance.
Q: Is COVID-19 contagious?
A: Yes it is highly contagious and is spread primarily from person to person.
How the virus is spread:
- The virus is thought to be spread by people who are in close contact (less than 6 feet apart) with one another.
- Transmission occurs from the respiratory droplets produced by the coughing or sneezing of an infected person that may land on people within 6 feet of them that land on them or be inhaled into the lungs.
- Transmission of COVID-19 can also occur if you touch a surface or object that has been contaminated by the COVID-19 droplets expelled by someone who has the virus and then you touch your face, nose, mouth, or eyes. It is believed that COVID-19
The CDC believes that the COVID-19 is primarily being spread from person to person by having close contact with an infected person, this is why the CDC has taken strong measures to isolate those infected with the virus to stop the spread of the disease.
Q: How can I avoid getting the Coronavirus?
A: There are easy, clearcut ways you can prevent getting or spreading a respiratory virus such as COVID-19. The way to avoid Coronavirus are:
- Practice social distancing in all public and private settings, this means staying at least 6 feet away from another person, this includes people who appear healthy because the CDC believes 25% of people with the Coronavirus are asymptomatic (have no symptoms).
- Avoid any contact with people who are sick, show symptoms, have been tested and are positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water frequently, especially after touching foreign surfaces (public surfaces outside your home).
- Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used common surfaces at home such as countertops, door handles, light switches, computers, phones, etc.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before preparing or eating food. Use soap and water and thoroughly wash for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you are out and unable to wash with soap and water. Hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
To avoid spreading the virus to your family or others you should:
- Self isolate if you are sick or have symptoms of the Coronavirus and contact your healthcare provider.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a kleenex or tissue and promptly throw it in the trash, do not reuse the tissues.
- Sanitize and clean often any frequently touched surfaces.
Q: What can I do to protect my family (yourself) from the COVID-19 that is currently spreading in my state and/or local area?
A: The flu season is a time that causes an increase in respiratory infections each year, it’s advised that most people (unless otherwise directed by their physician) should get an annual flu shot to avoid or lessen the severity of the common flu. If you have not had a flu shot this year you should contact your physician or UrgentCare.com center for advice on whether you should get a flu shot during the Coronavirus pandemic. The following preventative measures can help keep you and others safe:
- Avoid travel to any destination (country or state) currently or recently affected by the Coronavirus.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently during the entire day. Use 60% alcohol hand sanitizer if you can’t wash with soap and water while outside your home.
- Always practice social distancing when out in public, maintain a 6 foot distance from others.
- Wear a cloth face mask or covering whenever you are in a public setting, i.e. grocery or drug store, etc., but you still need to always maintain social distancing! A cloth face covering is especially essential if you are in a public area with widespread COVID-19 infection.
- Wash your cloth face coverings daily or in between use.
- Change and wash (with laundry detergent) your clothes regularly.
- Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces and objects in your home.
- When possible avoid sharing household items such as tv remotes, phones, computers and other items. Sanitize these objects frequently and before use when sharing with family members.
- Do not place a cloth face covering on children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has breathing problems, is unconscious, or is unable to remove the face mask on their own.
- The CDC recommends cloth face coverings, purchasing or using surgical masks or the N95 respirator masks is not required for adequate COVID-19 protection for the general public. Surgical masks and the N95 respirator masks are in very short supply and are a critical necessity for our healthcare workers and frontline responders, please do YOUR part by using cloth masks only. Be a part of the solution, not the problem!
- Obey all stay at home directives from your state’s Governor (mandates).
- Contact your healthcare provider or UrgentCare.com center immediately if you begin showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Q: How is the Coronavirus treated?
A: Although both the federal health agencies and the private sector are working hard to produce a possible treatment for the Coronavirus at present there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve the symptoms by contacting their healthcare provider immediately. They should also limit movement (self isolate) and contact with people and animals to avoid spreading the virus.
Q: Is there a test for COVID-19 where I live?
A: Yes, there is a test that can identify the COVID-19 virus. The CDC and the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Task Force are working to expand testing sites and make testing more widely available. However, at this time tests can only be conducted at the CDC and CDC approved sites. Federally approved drive-through testing sites are available in most states or through their Health Department, UrgentCare.com can provide you with a listing of the nearest federally approved drive-through locations for COVID-19 testing in your area (if available).
The following is typically what you will need to get a COVID-19 test performed in your area:
(we will use the state of Connecticut as an example for this article)
- Contact your healthcare provider (physician) to get a referral for COVID-19 testing.
- Contact your local Health Department to be pre-screened for a COVID-19 testing and/or receive an appointment to be tested.
- You must either have had a known exposure to or are experiencing symptoms of the Coronavirus such as: dry cough, fever, shortness of breath.
This is a list of some of the hospitals that are reported to be offering drive-through testing services. Please note that this list will very likely change frequently. It is important that you first contact by phone (when possible) any facility before taking the time to travel to that location.
You must have a doctor’s referral before arriving for testing. Please call your physician before showing up to a testing site. If you would like more information on obtaining a referral from a physician through a telemed (virtual by video or phone) service please see our page on Telemed Service providers.
- Danbury Hospital
- Greenwich Hospital
- Hartford Hospital
- Backus Hospital, 326 Washington St., Norwich, Lot 3
- Saint Francis Hospital (Hartford)
- Stamford Health
- Yale-New Haven Hospital
- Waterbury Hospital
- St.Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury)
- Bristol Hospital
- Bridgeport Hospital
- St. Vincents Hospital (Bridgeport)
- Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (Torrington)
- MidState Medical Center (Meriden)
- Griffin Hospital (Derby)
- Johnson Memorial Hospital (Stafford Springs)
- Lawrence Memorial Hospital (New London)
- Manchester Memorial Hospital
- Norwalk Hospital
- Rockville General Hospital (Vernon)
- UConn John Dempsey Hospital (Farmington)
Q: Is there a vaccine for the Coronavirus?
A: No, there is no vaccine for the 2019 Coronavirus at present. Your best way to prevent getting the virus is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19 by following the CDC guidelines and obeying your local/state/governor’s advisories.
Q: How many cases of the Coronavirus are there in my state?
A: The answer to this question changes daily, you can check the CDC website to get daily updates at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html.
Q: Are pregnant women at a higher risk for infection to COVID-19, or increased risk of severe illness, morbidity, or death from the Coronavirus as compared to the general public?
A: The CDC is providing extensive information that relates to pregnant women and breastfeeding, for full details go to the CDC’s site at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html.
Final Thoughts: This is a difficult and heartbreaking time for people, especially for those who have lost loved ones. We at UrgentCare.com want you to know our thoughts and prayers go out to all who are being affected by the Coronavirus, directly and indirectly. In the days ahead we must all do everything we can to help others and ourselves, by acting compassionately and responsibly together we will get through this. We can make this possible by staying home as much as we possibly can, washing and sanitizing our hands frequently, strictly obeying the stay at home orders or guidelines for your area, and for everyone’s sake including your own, maintaining social distancing practices and wearing a cloth face covering when you have to be in a public setting. Let’s all stop this deadly virus in its tracks, together we can do this! Stay safe and healthy one and all.