Here’s what to know about how you can avoid spreading germs and stay healthy.
- Transmitted via respiratory droplets
- People may be contagious before symptoms appear
- May persist on certain surfaces for up to 3 days
- Fever above 100.4F
- Shortness of breath
- Presenting 2-14 days after exposure
- Mortality rate is higher than the flu (est. 2%)
- Older populations or those with compromised immune systems, diabetes and hypertension are most at risk
Your Questions Answered
What is the coronavirus?Coronavirus is a class of virus. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.Forward doctors recommend staying up-to-date on new information regarding COVID-19 as we are learning more about the virus every day.Learn more at the CDC website
Which body fluids can spread the virus?COVID-19 is transmitted via respiratory droplets like sneezes and coughs. It is not yet known whether non-respiratory body fluids (blood, vomit, urine, breast milk or semen) from an infected person transmit the virus. Forward doctors recommend taking precautions until more information is widely available. Wash your hands with warm water for at least 20 seconds when coming into contact with any body fluids.Learn more at the CDC website
Do individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 need to be admitted to the hospital?Not all members with COVID-19 require hospitalization. It’s determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the member’s ability to engage in remote monitoring, the ability for safe isolation at home, the severity of symptoms and the risk of transmission in the member’s home environment.Forward doctors recommend that our members first use the remote assessment feature in our app. This will determine the severity of symptoms and the level of risk based on recent exposures. From here, we will give remote advice for symptom mitigation and self-quarantine, refer a member onsite for testing, or direct the member to the nearest Emergency Department, calling in advance.Learn more at the CDC website.
How is COVID-19 treated?Most cases of COVID-19 are treated similarly to the flu. Specific treatment advice varies but staying hydrated, getting rest, and taking a fever reducer are common recommendations. Staying home from work/school and avoiding public places is important to limit the spread. Around 20% of cases require additional treatment focused on supportive care of complications, including advanced organ support for respiratory failure, septic shock, and multi-organ failure.Forward doctors recommend monitoring your health closely. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, let your Care Team know in the Forward app or call your primary care physician. We will assess your risk based on a comprehensive set of questions that allow us to provide the appropriate next steps.Learn more at the CDC website.
Can people who recover from COVID-19 be infected again?The immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood. For other types of coronavirus, patients with infection are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for individuals with COVID-19.Forward doctors recommend that members infected with COVID-19 self-quarantine for 14 days. Given that the immune response is not yet known, we encourage individuals that contract the virus to use precaution and preventive measures.Learn more at the CDC website.
Can someone who does not have symptoms transmit the virus?People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). There have been reports of spread being possible before people show symptoms, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Forward doctors recommend taking precautions like practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.Learn more at the CDC website.
Myself or one of my loved ones is at higher risk. What should I do?Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. Early data suggest older people are twice as likely, if infected, to have serious COVID-19 illness. If you or a loved one are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications due to age or severe underlying medical conditions, it is especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.Forward doctors recommend
- Practicing social distancing, staying home as much as possible and taking precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- Washing your hands frequently and disinfecting items you touch frequently (phone, computer, car steering wheel, etc.)
- Avoiding all non-essential travel, including cruises
- Stocking up on everyday supplies like medications, groceries and toiletries
Learn more at the CDC website.
Should I work from home?It is strongly recommended that you practice social distancing, staying home as much as possible. If your work cannot be completed remotely, you should take precautions to limit your interaction with others and disinfect surfaces regularly touched.Forward doctors recommend staying home
- Maintaining six feet of distance between yourself and other people
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, especially after touching surfaces like door handles and payment machines
- Avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth
Learn more on Forward’s blog.
Should I wear a mask for prevention?Only individuals who are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or those looking after someone who may have COVID-19 should wear masks. Keep in mind, disposable face masks can only be used once, and there is a world-wide shortage of masks. WHO urges people to use masks wisely.Forward doctors recommend not wearing a mask unless a healthcare professional advises otherwise or you are caring for someone with COVID-19.Learn more at the WHO website.
When should I contact a doctor?If you develop symptoms related to COVID-19 (such as fever, cough and shortness of breath), let your Care Team know in the Forward app or call your primary care physician.Forward doctors recommend using the remote assessment feature in the Forward app. We will assess your risk based on a comprehensive set of questions that allow us to provide the appropriate next steps.Learn more at the CDC website.
What can I do to boost my immunity?Boosting your immunity may help to lessen the severity if you get sick.Forward doctors recommend
- Eating a well balanced diet, high in fruits and vegetables
- Exercising regularly (running outside away from crowds or at home workouts are safest right now)
- Getting adequate sleep
- Minimizing stress, in healthy ways like by exercise and meditation
- Limiting alcohol and smoking
- Taking steps to avoid infection, such as frequent hand washing
Learn more at the CDC website