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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19.

Symptoms & Other Basics

Here are answers to some common questions about symptoms of COVID-19. En Español.

The WHO reports there is uncertainty as to how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

From the U.S. Postal Service:

The CDC, WHO, as well as the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.

Specifically, according to the WHO, “the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and been exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” And according to the CDC, “in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.

Symptoms for the Coronavirus mimic those of other respiratory illnesses—mainly fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.



Viruses typically spread by respiratory droplets. This can occur by coughing or sneezing. The spread or transmission can occur within six feet of an infected person. While this applies to the common cold or influenza, the same principle applies to the COVID-19.

There is still a lot we don’t know about COVID-19. Many people experience mild illness from the virus, but it can be more severe for others, even resulting in death. Most of the severe cases involve older persons and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).


The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Testing & Recovery

Here are answers to some common questions about testing and recovery from COVID-19. En Español.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, complete a virtual screening, or call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Calling ahead allows the healthcare provider's office to take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Learn more information about caring for someone with COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), using available preliminary data, the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks and is 3-6 weeks for patients with severe or critical disease.


Please start with a virtual screening, that will determine if you qualify for a test at one of our remote sites. The sites are only open to patients who have been screened and qualify for a test.

Demand for COVID-19 testing is far outpacing the ability of laboratories to conduct the tests in a timely manner. In addition, testing for patients who are already hospitalized is the labs’ top priority as they follow the recommendations of the CDC.

We are working very hard to ensure the health and safety of our patients, visitors, employees and communities during this unprecedented time.

Family Concerns

Here are answers to some common questions about visitng and taking care of your family during the COVID-19 outbreak. En Español.

Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
  • Clean hands regularly.
  • Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home.
  • Clean the sick person's room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks.

In general, people should obey stay-at-home orders from their local or state government to avoid contaminating others – people can be asymptomatic and still carry the disease.

CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in all states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection.

If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be more likely to get infected if you travel there than if you stay home. Also, consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition. These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may choose to delay or cancel your plans.

Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the new coronavirus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.

Serology Testing

Here are answers to some common questions about serology tests and COVID-19. En Español.

These are blood tests to detect the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.


Serology testing can play a critical role in helping identify individuals who have overcome a past COVID-19 infection. In the future, these tests may also be used to help determine whether a person has developed immunity or may be able to donate plasma as a possible treatment for seriously ill patients. However, serologic tests should not be used to diagnose a current infection and there is simply not enough evidence to determine whether someone who has been previously exposed to the virus is now immune from future infection.

The CDC is the most reliable resource for accurate and up-to-date information on the COVID-19 pandemic; this includes the latest on serology testing.

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