WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus. It is not the same as other types of coronaviruses that commonly circulate among people and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
WHO NEEDS A COVID-19 TEST?
ISDH will continue to focus on testing our highest-risk Hoosiers so that we can continue to quickly provide results needed to protect the most vulnerable residents. Those individuals include:
• Anyone who is admitted to the hospital whose physician is concerned that their symptoms are consistent with COVID-19.
• Symptomatic healthcare workers (inpatient, outpatient, nursing home, and other long-term service facilities) and first responders who provide direct care to at-risk patients.
• Symptomatic long-term care facility residents or staff who have direct contact with patients.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I NEED A TEST?
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office or emergency department, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients. You can also consult a healthcare provider through telehealth, if that is an option.
The ISDH call center for healthcare providers and members of the public who have concerns about COVID-19 is now staffed 24/7 at 877-826-0011.
Source: Indiana State Department of Health