Frequently Asked Questions



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


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

SARS-CoV-2 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 contact for at least 15 minutes with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19.

When should I get tested after being exposed?

  • It is recommended 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 days. This depends on the type of test and how many tests are being performed at that time.
  • It is imperative that you quarantine 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. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, scheduling a virtual appointment 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. Telehealth 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 masks 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%.
  • Wearing a mask protects you from infection by reducing exposure to other peoples’ droplets by 20-30%.

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 shot 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 spread 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 two 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 options.
    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% 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. Strategies 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 government orders and regulations should I be aware of?

  • Individuals – 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.
  • Businesses – 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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