COVID-19 medical illustration

COVID-19 FAQ

Coronavirus. Symptoms, spreading, transmitting and restrictions concept. Chart with keywords and icons

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough and fatigue. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include a loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, sore throat, headache, muscle or joint pain, skin rash, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, chills and dizziness.

Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include shortness of breath, loss of appetite, confusion, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, and high temperature (above 100° F).

Who is most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19?

People aged 60 years and over, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, obesity or cancer, are at higher risk of developing serious illness. However, anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.

When should I get tested?

If you would like to get tested, there are a few important things to keep in mind. The best time to test is around five to seven days after the exposure. We know that most people will develop symptoms by about seven days after an exposure, though it can be as long as 14 days after exposure in a few cases.

In order to minimize the chance of a false negative test, the virus needs to have some time to replicate in order to allow for detection by the testing, so testing too early has a higher likelihood of a falsely negative test when the person is actually infected. If you develop symptoms, then you should be tested one to three days into your symptoms.

Where can I get tested?

On Island COVID-19 testing is available to Clinic patients. We currently offer COVID-19 testing with a saliva PCR test, a molecular test that detects the virus’s genetic material. This is a test for active infection. You perform the test at home and ship the sample via FedEx Express. Results are usually available in one to three days. We also have rapid antigen testing, which involves a nasal swab and tests for active infection. We perform the rapid tests in a designated area outside of the Annex building. We also are available to provide a test for COVID-19 antibodies, which requires a blood draw and can give confirmation of a previous infection with COVID-19.

Additional testing options available in the area, depending on the day, include local CVS pharmacies, the Florida State Department of Health testing sites and even options for self-testing at home.

When can my isolation/quarantine end?

If you tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms of COVID-19 even with a negative test result, you may end isolation when:

  • You have not had a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen. AND
  • Your symptoms have improved. AND
  • It has been at least 10 days since you developed symptoms or at least 10 days since you tested positive with no symptoms.

If you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or someone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you may end your quarantine when:

  • 10 days have passed since your last contact with the person, or seven days have passed and you had a negative test result no earlier than on the fifth day of your quarantine. AND
  • You have remained symptom free.

The CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the best way to prevent spread of COVID-19. A shorter quarantine leaves some residual risk of transmission. You should continue to quarantine from particularly vulnerable individuals for the full 14-day period.

What if my child was exposed to the Coronavirus?

If my child was exposed to COVID-19 and has to quarantine, do I also have to quarantine? Technically, no, since you didn’t actually have an exposure (unless your own child tested positive or you are ill). However, this depends on a lot of things related to how easily and consistently your child is able to quarantine in your own home. If you have young children that require care and supervision, it’s best to err on the side of being cautious and quarantine yourself as well.

If I or my family member was exposed to COVID-19, should I get tested?

Recent guidance has left testing for asymptomatic exposure up to the individual or advises you to consult with your healthcare provider for appropriate guidance according to your own level of risk. Please call the Clinic or your own healthcare provider to review your personal situation and get specific guidance on what is the best option in your individual case.

When should you wear a mask?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all people 2 years of age and older wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when (not if) other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Do I need to wear a mask if I’m driving around in a golf cart?

Even though you are outside, if you’re sitting next to someone in the cart, you are sharing their air space in close proximity. Unless you are driving solo, wear a mask.

Is a mask enough?

Everyone should wear masks with two or more layers. Those over the age of 60 and/or those have underlying medical conditions could consider using a face shield in addition to a mask. The CDC asks the public to reserve medical-grade masks, like N95 respirators, for frontline healthcare workers and first responders.

What about neck gaiters?

While the effectiveness of gaiters is still being investigated, gaiters made of cotton and triple layered are the most effective according to experts. What’s important to keep in mind with any face covering is that it should fit your nose and be snug under your chin.

What’s the correct way to wear a mask?

Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. And be sure to clean (or sanitize) your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off.