Please find our most frequently asked questions below. If your question cannot be answered below, it may be better answered by Sentara’s COVID-19 Call Center.
- What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Am I at risk for COVID-19?
- Is there anything I can do to prevent the spread of the virus?
- Is there a vaccine and what should I do if I think myself or a family member is infected?
- What should I do if I think myself or a family member is infected? How can I get tested for COVID-19?
- Is there a vaccine?
- How do I self-isolate and self-quarantine?
- How is Sentara prepared to treat COVID-19?
- Will my insurance cover COVID-19 testing?
- What happens after I am tested?
- I have an upcoming appointment with my Sentara Medical Group provider. Will my appointment be cancelled?
- My child has an upcoming appointment with our Sentara Medical Group pediatrician. Will the appointment be cancelled?
- Can I get the virus through drinking water?
- Can my pet give me the virus?
- If I get the flu vaccine, will this protect me from COVID-19?
- Should I stop taking my Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other NSAIDs (e.g. full-dose aspirin, naproxen, meloxicam, ketorolac)?
- If I am already taking hydroxychloroquine or one of the other investigational agents, should I increase my dose?
1. What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. COVID-19 symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
2. Am I at risk for COVID-19?
This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.
3. Is there anything I can do to prevent the spread of the virus?
The best way to prevent the illness is to avoid exposure in the following ways:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, which you should discard in the trash.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- See your doctor or use an approved telehealth option if you think you are ill.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
4. Should I wear a mask or gloves as a preventative measure when I go out in public?
If you are not sick, you do not need to wear a face mask unless caring for a sick individual who has or might have COVID-19. If you are sick, you should wear a face mask when you are around people to avoid spreading the virus.
Gloves may help protect you, but can still transmit the virus after touching surfaces if not changed after each potential contamination, providing a false sense of security. It is more effective to wash your hands often and practice social distancing (6 feet) to avoid potential contact.
5. What should I do if I think myself or a family member is infected? How can I get tested for COVID-19?
Sentara Healthcare is testing for COVID-19. If you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, please view our self-screening guidelines. You will be guided to the best care plan for your condition.
If Sentara administers your test for COVID-19, the following CPT code and charge for testing will be applied: Test U0004 – COVID-19 LAB TEST NON-CDC $100.00.
Many insurance plans are waiving out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and treatment. Please contact your insurance company for more information. If you do not have health insurance, please refer to Sentara financial assistance program information.
6. Is there a vaccine?
Currently, there is not a vaccine for COVID-19.
7. How do I self-isolate and self-quarantine?
Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.
- Isolation – Is instructed for people who test positive for COVID-19. This separates sick people with a communicable disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine – Is instructed for people who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19. This separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
If you test positive or COVID-19 or feel you may have been exposed, follow these guidelines from the CDC to self-isolate and self-quarantine.
8. How is Sentara prepared to treat COVID-19?
All Sentara hospitals and facilities are given the most recent guidelines and information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Our team members have been trained to identify a patient that meets the latest COVID-19 screening requirements, immediately isolate that patient and treat the patient’s symptoms while wearing full protective gear. We will test patients who meet COVID-19 screening guidelines.
We are working closely the CDC, state and local health departments, and officials at all levels, to monitor and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Because of the global effect of the novel coronavirus, certain categories of medical supplies have begun experiencing shortages and back orders. Sentara Healthcare is currently making provisions to lessen the impact of supply shortages. Where possible, the supply chain team and clinicians are determining substitute products and alternatives sources when items become available. We are accepting certain types of supply donations. Click here to view our supply donation guidelines.
9. Will my insurance cover COVID-19 testing?
If you are an Optima Health member, please visit their website to learn more information about your benefits.
If you have another insurance provider, please contact them directly to confirm coverage.
10. What happens after I am tested?
If tested, you will be asked to self-quarantine until we receive your results. You will receive a phone call once your test results are in.
If you are a Sentara patient, your results will also be added to your Sentara MyChart or Sentara account. If you are not a Sentara patient, click here to setup your account.
Please be patient. At this time, it could take 10 days or longer to receive test results. If your symptoms require additional medical care, you will be directed to available services.
11. I have an upcoming appointment with my Sentara Medical Group provider. Will my appointment be cancelled?
With the health and safety of our patients in mind, all physicals and wellness visits will be transitioned to a virtual appointment or rescheduled for a later date. Your Sentara Medical Group care team will contact you with more information.
If you have an upcoming appointment to address another healthcare need, you may receive a call to transition your in-office appointment to a virtual appointment. Virtual appointments will be conducted over the phone or through a video visit from the comfort of your home.
Also, if you are scheduled for an upcoming appointment with a Sentara Medical Group provider, and develop a fever or cough, please call the office before your appointment so your care team can offer guidance and recommend the best care plan for you.
12. My child has an upcoming appointment with our Sentara Medical Group pediatrician. Will the appointment be cancelled?
To maintain the necessary immunization schedule, in-office well child check-ups for children 0-24 months will continue. Immunizations for older children may be deferred to a later date based on your pediatrician’s recommendation. Please know that we are cleaning all patient rooms after each visit with disinfectant guidelines approved by the CDC. In addition, we are cleaning waiting rooms, door handles and all shared surfaces frequently with FDA approved disinfectant wipes.
Well child visits for all other ages will either be transitioned to a virtual visit or be rescheduled for a later date. Your Sentara Medical Group pediatrician will contact you with more information.
Also, if your child is scheduled for an upcoming appointment to address another healthcare need, you may receive a call to transition their in-office appointment to a virtual appointment. Virtual appointments will be conducted over the phone or through a video visit from the comfort of your home.
13. Can I get the virus through drinking water?
No, the virus has not been found in drinking water. The filtration and disinfection used by municipal drinking water systems should remove or inactivate the virus.
14. Can my pet give me the virus?
There is no evidence that your pet could be the source of the virus. There have been no reports of pets becoming sick due to the COVID-19 virus. You should still wash your hands with soap and water before and after interacting with pets.
15. If I get the flu vaccine, will this protect me from COVID-19?
No, the flu vaccine is designed to prevent infections with influenza viruses, which are very different than coronaviruses.
The flu vaccine won’t prevent you from getting a coronavirus, but if you have already received your flu vaccine this can help healthcare workers better respond to the outbreak of COVID-19.
16. Should I stop taking my Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other NSAIDs (e.g. full-dose aspirin, naproxen, meloxicam, ketorolac)?
There is currently no evidence that suggest this class of medications makes COVID-19 symptoms worse.
17. If I am already taking hydroxychloroquine or one of the other investigational agents, should I increase my dose?
No you should not increase your dose. Continue the current dose you are prescribed. Increasing your dose of hydroxychloroquine or other medications could lead to adverse side effects.