Browse these frequently asked questions to gain a better understanding of COVID-19 and learn what to do if you suspect you may have COVID-19.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, is a disease caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus not previously seen in humans.
Where did COVID-19 originate?
It was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019.
What countries are currently caring for COVID-19 patients?
COVID-19 has spread worldwide, including in the United States, here in Lake County and the state of Ohio. View the current US case count of COVID-19.
What are symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms can be mild or severe. Current symptoms reported include fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, fatigue, new loss of taste or smell, headache, body aches, sore throat, and gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Learn more about the symptoms.
How long does it take for symptoms to appear?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
How does it spread from person to person?
The virus mainly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. View more information about how COVID-19 spreads.
Can an infected person spread the virus before they develop symptoms?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible even if the person isn’t exhibiting any symptoms (asymptomatic).
How do I know if I have COVID-19?
The virus can be confirmed only with laboratory testing. Unless it’s a medical emergency, it’s important to stay home if you feel sick to reduce the spread of illness. If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call your health care provider first or seek virtual care through Lake Health Online Quick Care. Through Online Quick Care, we’ve created a FREE screening questionnaire based on CDC guidelines to help you determine the most appropriate level of care for you. Your doctor’s office can also give instructions on how to get the care you need and determine if you meet the CDC guidelines for testing based on your symptoms and exposure. If you do meet the criteria, you’ll be advised on how to proceed with testing. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and exposure.
How can I best protect myself?
There are several ways to protect yourself and those around you: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash with soap and water. Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your face. Clean frequently touched surfaces with a disinfectant that kills viruses. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you’re sick. Get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you. Learn more about prevention.
Who is most at risk?
It is important to keep in mind that the majority of COVID-19 patients will be able to recover at home. Only a small percentage of patients, such as older adults, people with chronic health conditions and those with compromised immune systems, will require hospitalization.
What should I do if I suspect I have been exposed to COVID-19?
Unless it’s a medical emergency, it’s important to stay home if you feel sick to reduce the spread of illness. If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider first or seek virtual care through Lake Health Online Quick Care. Through Online Quick Care, we’ve created a FREE screening questionnaire based on CDC guidelines to help you determine the most appropriate level of care for you. Your doctor’s office can also give instructions on how to get the care you need and determine if you meet the CDC guidelines for testing based on your symptoms, travel and exposure. If you do meet the criteria, you’ll be advised on how to proceed with testing. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and exposure.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Although a vaccine for COVID-19 has been approved, it is not widely accessible to the public yet. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Learn more about Ohio’s vaccine distribution plan.
Should I wear a face mask?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a cloth face mask or covering to help slow the spread of this illness.
How has Lake Health prepared for COVID-19?
Lake Health, local health departments, the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are closely monitoring COVID-19 in our region and have detailed preparedness plans in place that are updated frequently as new developments occur. Patients are being screened at points of entry into the Lake Health system for certain criteria as defined by the CDC. Patients who meet the CDC guidelines will be referred for testing as appropriate.
I have a trip planned, should I cancel it?
The CDC provides recommendations for canceling or postponing your travel based on potential health risks, such as the risk of getting COVID-19. Learn more. If you must travel, travelers can take routine precautions to help reduce their risk of getting sick, including: Avoid contact with sick people. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
Where can I receive the most up-to-date information about COVID-19?
As the coronavirus situation evolves daily, the most up-to-date information can be found on the following websites: Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) World Health Organization (WHO) For general questions, the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 8 pm and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). Call center staff includes licensed nurses and infectious disease experts. They will answer questions and provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public and the state’s response.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the CDC website here.
Sources: The Ohio Department of Health, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.