As of March 30, 2020
Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions
At Collective:Choice, we’re doing everything we can to give you peace of mind, and keep you informed about how to take care of yourself and your loved ones during this outbreak.
See below for responses to some commonly asked questions.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, which includes SARS, MERS and the family of viruses often responsible for the common cold.
What if I’m concerned that I have contracted COVID-19?
The first step is to contact your health care provider, particularly if you’ve come into contact with someone who may have been exposed to the disease or is exhibiting symptoms. We recommend calling provider offices in advance.
You need a clinician’s approval to receive testing for COVID-19, so it’s best not to visit a testing facility without consulting with your health care provider first. Your provider can assess your symptoms and recommend the best course of action for you.
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should call their health care provider, particularly if you’ve potentially come in contact with someone who may have been exposed to the disease.
Some people become infected without developing any symptoms or feeling unwell. Most (about 80%) recover from the disease without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems—such as lung disease, heart problems or diabetes—are believed to be more at risk to develop serious illness.
Your Concierge Team can connect you with our Doctor on Call telemedicine service to discuss your symptoms and whether you might have contracted COVID-19, or help you find and make an appointment with the right physician in your area. Please note that Doctor on Call is currently experiencing longer than normal wait times.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus is now spreading from person-to-person:
Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Through droplets that can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within about 6 feet) or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
If you are experiencing symptoms, contact our Concierge Team and they can find a health provider for you or connect you to Doctor on Call if needed.
How can I reduce my risk of contracting COVID-19?
To avoid being exposed to the virus and to prevent illness, the CDC recommends the following:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
Should I get a face mask?
We recommend following the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Where do I go to get tested for COVID-19?
The first step the CDC recommends is to stay home and contact your health care provider. Your health care provider will share testing location information with you, if they confirm it is necessary. If your health care provider is not able to guide you to testing at this time, you can reach out to your local department of health.
Whether you receive a recommendation for testing from your physician, it is likely that an on-site physician at a testing center will want to evaluate your symptoms before administering a COVID-19 diagnostic test.
The availability of tests is evolving, with more locations offering diagnostics daily.
If you are experiencing a health emergency, such as serious difficulty breathing, please call 911 and let them know you are concerned you may have COVID-19.
What treatments are available for coronavirus?
There currently isn’t a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Once it’s been confirmed you have COVID-19 through a diagnostic test, your provider will recommend a recovery plan that is best for you.
If your case is more mild and the home recovery is recommended, it’s important to monitor your symptoms, such as by taking your temperature. If your symptoms worsen, you should contact your doctor. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, such as serious difficulty breathing, please call 911 and let them know you are concerned you may have COVID-19.
I have some planned travel. What should I do if I get sick while traveling?
The CDC has restricted travel to many countries as well as all cruise ship travel, so it is important to check their website regularly as you plan your trips. If you have visited one of the places on the CDC’s restricted travel list within the past 14 days, you will be allowed to enter the U.S. through one of 13 airports and will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days. Even if somewhere isn’t on the restricted travel list, the CDC recommends restricting unnecessary travel as much as possible, including within the U.S., to reduce your risk of exposure to coronavirus and risk of passing the virus along to others.
I have a chronic condition that puts me at high-risk for COVID-19. What should I do?
Early information out of China where COVID-19 first started and newer information from Italy is showing that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
It is not known if people with asthma are at a higher risk of having COVID-19, but if you do have asthma and get the virus, you may be at a higher risk of getting very sick. Coronavirus affects the nose, throat, and lungs, so it could cause asthma attacks and lead to further illness like pneumonia. The CDC recommends that people with asthma take extra precautions to reduce their risk.
According to the CDC, if you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:
Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
Avoid crowds as much as possible.
During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible.
Should I be practicing social distancing?
If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.
Even if you are healthy and not experiencing symptoms, it’s important that you do everything you can to reduce your risk and help reduce the risk of others - including social distancing.
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community and you are in a high-risk group, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people
Stay home as much as possible.
Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
What kind of care should I consider postponing?
Your doctor can help you decide if postponing non-elective procedures and surgeries during this time makes sense. If you’re not sure if an upcoming procedure you have can be delayed for a few weeks or months, we recommend talking to your doctor. It is also possible that hospitals or clinics may contact you to reschedule your procedures or appointments. Remember, emergency/first responders will continue to be available in case of emergency.
The Surgeon General has urged providers to avoid performing elective surgeries during the outbreak of coronavirus to devote resources to coronavirus care. The American College of Surgeons has since issued formal guidance on how providers should manage decisions around postponing surgeries, urging them to prioritize coronavirus patients and patients with life-threatening conditions that require immediate surgery. The governors of FL, TX, NY, CA, NJ, TN, CO, OH, and MI have all issued executive orders prohibiting elective/non-urgent procedures.
What if I need to see the dentist?
The American Dental Association has recommended that dentists postpone all elective procedures. If you need emergency dental services, you should first contact your provider’s office. The provider will have information about how to arrange emergency services.
Oscar Health's Article, "Helping you understand COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by coronavirus"