The coronavirus pandemic has officially lasted past the end of 2020. While we have heard about COVID-19 since March, people still have a lot of questions when it comes to the virus. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID.
How can I catch the coronavirus?
COVID-19 passes from person to person in respiratory droplets. These go out into the air when people talk, cough, or sneeze. Inhaling one of these droplets that contains the virus after being around a contagious person is one of the most common ways of catching COVID.
The coronavirus can also stay on surfaces for anywhere from a few hours todays. Touching a contaminated surface and then putting your hands near your eyes, nose, or mouth could also lead to infection.
How can I protect myself from COVID?
Staying away from people who are sick is the best way to avoid getting COVID-19. It is best to stay at home as much as possible. Wear a mask when you are in public and follow social distancing guidelines, staying at least six feet from others.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Many symptoms could signal that you have the coronavirus. Some of the most common symptoms are fever, cough, and new loss of taste or smell. Shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea are also symptoms.
How long after exposure will symptoms appear?
Symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed to the coronavirus. That is why it is so important to quarantine after being around someone who is sick, even if you feel fine.
What treatments are there for coronavirus?
The Food and Drug Administration has approved remdesivir as a medication to treat COVID-19. Other medications and treatments are being tested all the time. There are also several vaccines in the works and some have already been approved.
Who can get the COVID vaccine?
Each state has rolled out a plan for how vaccination distribution will go. In California, like in many other states, healthcare workers and long-term care residents will be vaccinated first. Once this group is finished, more people will be eligible.
When should I get tested for the coronavirus?
While you wait to get vaccinated, it is important to stay on top of COVID prevention. This means getting tested if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Evidence suggests that COVID tests are most accurate in detecting the virus five to seven days after exposure. Not all asymptomatic cases may be caught with rapid testing.
Some people are required to get tested regularly for school or work. Many states have laws about testing and traveling. If you are going out of state, check what the local guidelines say about quarantining and/ or testing. Finally, if you have symptoms, you of course will want to get tested for the coronavirus.
Are there different types of COVID tests?
There are a few different kinds of COVID-19 tests. Rapid tests check if you currently have the virus and give you results in under an hour. Another type of diagnostic test, called a PCR test, does the same thing but checks more thoroughly. These results come back in about three days. Both of these tests involve nose swabs.
Antibody tests are also available. This is a blood test to see if you have the antibodies from fighting COVID-19.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
There are many different places to get tested for the coronavirus, from hospitals to drive-through testing sites to urgent care facilities. BASS Urgent Care offers both diagnostic and antibody testing. Call (925) 267-7800 to schedule an appointment.