COVID-19: What You Need to Know

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

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The COVID-19 situation changes quickly. To get the latest updates, go to the CDC’s special COVID-19 leaving site icon website.

Here we have answers to some frequently asked questions about COVID-19, how to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick.

What is COVID-19?

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of virus but has some of the same symptoms as a common cold or the flu. This and other coronaviruses are airborne, meaning they are spread when you come in contact with a person who has the virus or a surface they have touched.

For now, there are no vaccines to prevent it or drugs known to treat it. Scientists across the world are working to find a way to fight and treat COVID-19.

Who can get COVID-19?

Anyone can catch COVID-19, even if you are healthy. It is spreading quickly. You are at risk, and your actions can put others at risk. It is vital that you follow public health guidelines, including staying at home until the worst of the pandemic is over.

How do I know if I have COVID-19?

Symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. You may also have other symptoms that you get when you have a cold or the flu, such as being tired, having an upset stomach and being congested.

If your symptoms are mild, you may get better on your own. In that case, you may not need to be tested, but it is still important that you not go around others until you are well.

Where do I get tested for COVID-19?

Calling your primary care doctor’s office is the first place to start. They can decide if you should be tested. They can also order the test and work with the city or county health department to find a location for testing.

How do I keep from catching COVID-19?

Since there is no vaccine, your only way to keep from getting it is to practice good prevention.

Not getting near someone who has the virus or things they’ve touched are the best steps. Since people are contagious before they have symptoms, it is hard to know if you are around someone who has it. That’s why you are asked to stay away from public places and groups of people.

You should also:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer often throughout the day.
  • Try not to touch surfaces used by a lot of people, like door handles, light switches, phones, keyboards and flat surfaces. Disinfect those surfaces around your home often.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay 6 to 10 feet away from other people when possible.

Read these tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne viruses.

What do I do if I may have COVID-19?

If you have symptoms, you can care for yourself as you would for colds or flu, including resting, drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter cold and flu medicine. If your symptoms are getting worse, you should talk to a health professional. Start by calling your doctor’s office or urgent care center.

If your health plan has a virtual visit benefit, you can be seen by a doctor by phone, online or by video without leaving home. The doctor can write a prescription if needed and decide if you need to go a hospital.

If you are having trouble breathing or have bluish face or lips, get help right away by calling 911 or going to the nearest hospital ER.

How do I keep from spreading it to others?
  • If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work or school.
  • Call your doctor or an urgent care center so they can help you decide if you need more care than you can get at home. They will also decide if you need testing.
  • At home, stay in a room you don’t share with others in your household, and don’t let others come in. Don’t touch shared surfaces.
  • If you are elderly or have a serious health issue that makes it easy for you to get sick, make sure to tell your doctor right away if you start showing symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more tips. leaving site icon

Is testing and treatment for COVID-19 covered by my health plan?

Like any other illness you might have, having health coverage means you can get the care you need. You may not be charged a copay or coinsurance to get tested, depending on your plan.

To check your benefits, log into your account at or using the BCBSIL app on your smart phone. You can also call the customer service number on your member ID card.

For more information about COVID-19 visit our website at