Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

What is a coronavirus?

A coronavirus causes a viral infection. It affects the respiratory (breathing) system. You may have heard of other coronaviruses like MERS and SARS. A new strain of coronavirus is now in the United States. This is the virus on the news that first showed up in China.

What is the name of the disease caused by this new coronavirus?

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the new name of this disease is “coronavirus disease 2019”. For short, it is called COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms for this coronavirus can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Lower respiratory issues

How do coronaviruses spread? 

Coronaviruses can live in the air and on surfaces. That means they can spread like many other viruses. Sneezing, coughing, and coming in contact with an infected person can put you at risk.

What can I do to help prevent getting the coronavirus? 

As of now, there are no vaccines for this coronavirus. But there are other things you can do to help prevent illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home and workplace
  • Don't touch your face, nose, or mouth
  • Cover your face with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, then throw the tissue away
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick

What do I do if I think I’m getting sick?

If you think you're getting sick, call your primary care provider. He or she can help find out what condition you have and the best way to get better. It's important to call first before going to the doctor or to a hospital. There are hotlines for some hospitals including:

You can also call:

  • Our 24-hour Nurse Help Line at 1-888-288-1722 (TTY: 1-888-987-5832)
  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s statewide hotline at 1-888-535-6136 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public health and other experts will answer health-related questions about COVID-19.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hotline: 1-800-232-4636
  • Oakland County's Hotline: 248-858-1000

In case of an emergency, call 911.

How do I know if I am at high risk?

Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions are at high risk. Those conditions include:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease

I am pregnant. Am I at high risk? 

There are no reports about the risk to pregnant women and children from COVID-19. This is something that is still being studied. Pregnant women should follow the same prevention tips as other people.

Where can I get tested?

If you have any questions about whether you should be tested, call your primary care provider. They will work with the state, the local public health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

Is coronavirus testing covered under my benefits and services? 

Yes, as long as it is ordered by your doctor.

What is social distancing?

According to the CDC, social distancing means:

  • Stay out of crowded places
  • Avoid group gatherings
  • Maintain distance (about six feet or two meters) from others when you can

I am feeling scared and stressed about the coronavirus. What can I do? 

If you, or someone you care about, are feeling sadness, depression, anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call:

Call your primary care provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Where can I go for more information? 

For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus and COVID-19:

If you need community resources, such as food distribution, visit our COVID-19 Resources page. This page includes a collection of community resources providing assistance during the coronavirus outbreak. We'll continue adding resources as more become available. You can also search for resources, including coronavirus resources, using our Community Resource Hub. Type in your ZIP code, then click Search to find resources close to home.