COVID-19 FAQ

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A collection of frequently asked questions to help businesses keep employees healthy and safe amid COVID-19. Browse questions below or submit your own.


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What is the difference between SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, and COVID-19?  Who should get tested for COVID-19?

When should I get tested after being exposed?

How long should I expect to wait for results for my COVID-19 test?

Where can I receive a COVID-19 test?

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

How does wearing a mask reduce the spread of COVID-19?

How can I help protect myself and others from contracting COVID-19

How does the virus spread?

What are the differences between cold/flu and COVID-19 symptoms? When should someone seek medical care?

What percentage of infected individuals make a full recovery?

How can I plan safe holiday activities amid COVID-19?

What are the latest developments in vaccine trials?

What government orders and regulations should I be aware of?

Submit a question


What is the difference between SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, and COVID-19?  Who should get tested for COVID-19?

SARS-CoV-21 is the type of coronavirus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Who should get tested for COVID-19:

  • Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, and headache.
  • Anyone who has had close contact2 for at least 15 minutes with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19.

When should I get tested after being exposed?

  • It is recommended3 you get tested five to six days after being exposed. This timeframe is typically when symptoms begin to develop.
  • If you get tested a day or two after exposure, there is a chance you will receive a false negative.

How long should I expect to wait for results for my COVID-19 test?

  • The clinic who provided your test should be able to tell you how long results will take. In general, 24-48 hours is a common timeframe, but some clinics require up to several days4. This depends on the type of test and how many tests are being performed at that time.
  • It is imperative that you quarantine5 while awaiting results to protect your friends, family, and community members from possibly contracting COVID-19 from you.

Where can I receive a COVID-19 test?

There are many locations where you can get tested at no charge: find a test site.6 If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, scheduling a virtual appointment7 with a medical provider is also a good option to help diagnose.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Check with your healthcare provider if you experience symptoms. Telehealth8 makes it easy to connect with a provider from home.


How does wearing a mask reduce the spread of COVID-19?

  • Masks are a necessary safety measure for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Cloth face masks9 act as barriers to droplets spread when infected individuals cough, sneeze, talk, and breathe.
  • When wearing a mask the chances of someone inhaling your droplets when talking or breathing is reduced by 60-95%10.
  • Wearing a mask protects you from infection by reducing exposure to other peoples’ droplets by 20-30%11.

How can I help protect myself and others from contracting COVID-19?

  • Stay home as much as possible. (Getting fresh air and exercise is still important.)
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when around others.
  • Maintain six feet away from others when in public.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home daily.
  • Monitor your health and watch for symptoms.
  • Get a flu shot12 to:
    • Reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
    • Save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.

How does the virus spread?

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when someone infected coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes. The virus spreads when someone inhales the droplets through their nose or mouth.
  • A secondary means of spread13 is when virus-containing droplets land on surfaces for others to touch and transfer to their nose or mouth.

What are the differences between cold/flu and COVID-19 symptoms? When should someone seek medical care?

  • The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. Symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 overlap and distinguishing between the two14 can be difficult. Common symptoms of both COVID-19 and the flu virus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore threat, and headache14. Flu viruses appear to cause less severe symptoms than those of COVID-19. If you experience any of these symptoms, take the following steps:
    • Check your local health system’s website to find an online screening tool to help determine if you are at risk for COVID-19.
    • Consult with your doctor by phone or check with insurance provider about virtual care options15.
      For your safety and the safety of others, it is not recommended you visit a hospital, ER, walk-in clinic, or urgent care unannounced. It is best to call ahead.
    • Call 911 if your symptoms worsen – high fever (102-103 degrees) and/or rapid breathing.

What percentage of infected individuals make a full recovery?

Experts predict that 97-99.5%16 of COVID-19 patients recover from the illness. Prompt diagnosis and medical care can improve a patient’s likelihood of achieving full recovery.


How can I plan safe holiday activities amid COVID-19?

  • With cases spiking, it is best to start thinking ahead. Understand that holiday gatherings with friends and family should be modified to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19. Strategies17 to limit the spread of COVID-19 during family gatherings include:
    • Celebrating virtually with family and friends.
    • Limiting the size of the gathering to 10 people or less.
    • Encouraging masks, hand washing, and social distancing.

What are the latest developments in vaccine trials?

  • There are currently 52 possible vaccines undergoing clinical trials on humans, 10 of which have reached the final stages of testing. The goal of the vaccine is to promote the development of antibodies in the immune system to protect against the virus.
  • Pfizer and Biontech18 recently released that its vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in the first interim efficacy analysis.

What government orders and regulations should I be aware of?

  • Individuals19 – According to Governor Whitmer’s October 29 order, indoor gatherings of up to 10 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people at a residence are permitted. Face masks are strongly recommended.
  • Businesses20 – Businesses, government offices, schools, child care organizations, operators of public transit, and all other gathering organizers must not allow indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind unless they require individuals to wear a face mask.

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References

  1. “Human Coronavirus Types,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. “COVID-19 Testing Overview,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. Lee, Bruce Y., “How Long After Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Should You Get Tested,” Forbes
  4. “Test for Current Infection,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  5. “3 Key Steps to Take While Waiting for Your COVID-19 Test Result,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  6. State of Michigan
  7. “How Do Online Doctor Visits Work with my Blue Cross Plan?” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  8. “How Do Online Doctor Visits Work with my Blue Cross Plan?” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  9. “Debunking Mask Myths: Why it’s Important to Wear a Face Mask,” Henry Ford Health System
  10. “Debunking Mask Myths: Why it’s Important to Wear a Face Mask,” Henry Ford Health System
  11. “Debunking Mask Myths: Why it’s Important to Wear a Face Mask,” Henry Ford Health System
  12. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), “How to Protect Yourself and Others,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  13. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Frequently Asked Questions, Spread, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  14. “Similarities and Differences Between Flu and COVID-19,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  15. “Telehealth, Virtual Care Options for Providers,” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  16. “Coronavirus Recovery,” WebMD
  17. “Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  18. “Pfizer and Biontech Announce Vaccine Candidate Against Achieved Success in First Interim Analysis from Phase 3 Study,” Pfizer
  19. MDHHS Epidemic Order Oct. 29, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
  20. MDHHS Epidemic Order Oct. 29, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services