What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and what should you know?
Knowing the fact from fiction when it comes to COVID-19 is the key to keeping you and your family healthy. So, what is it exactly?
COVID-19 is a virus transmitted from person-to-person. It can cause flu-like symptoms that can range from very mild to severe. Although, some people may experience mild or no noticeable symptoms at all (asymptomatic carriers), they can still pass the virus to others. It's important to pay attention to your health during this time to ensure you're getting the appropriate treatment and taking the right precautions.
Information about the coronavirus is changing rapidly as more data and research is available. The CDC website is the best place to get up-to-date information.
Protecting yourself against COVID-19 is similar to how you protect yourself against other illnesses - like the flu or the common cold. But there are a few additional steps you may want or need to take. How many items are you checking off the list each day?
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands or while in public places - like grocery or department stores.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. Remember, into a cloth, tissue or your elbow, not your hands!
- Throw away tissues after each use.
- Clean and disinfect any high-traffic or dirty surfaces often. Don't forget doorknobs or doorbells that others may have touched.
- Monitor your symptoms and stay on top of your health. A good habit to get into for your total health.
- Avoid being in close contact with people who are sick.
Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after you've been exposed to the virus. If you think you have been exposed or have been in contact with large groups of people, you should monitor yourself for symptoms. Changes in your symptoms can happen quickly.1
Coronavirus symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Remember, even if you aren't showing any symptoms at all, you can still have and pass on COVID-19 to others. It's important to follow local and CDC guidelines on keeping yourself and those around you safe, secure, and healthy!
Your risk for getting COVID-19 depends on your exposure to others during this time. This chart can help you understand your risk factor. However, even at the lowest risk, you should still be aware of your health and symptoms.2
|No Risk||Low Risk||Medium Risk||High Risk|
|Walking by or briefly being in the same room as someone who is positive for COVID-19 and showing symptoms.||Being in the same room as someone with the virus and showing symptoms, but you were not within six feet.||Long-term close contact (10-minutes or longer) within six feet of someone with COVID-19 while showing symptoms.||Family members or close household contacts of someone with COVID-19 are at the highest risk.|
If you think you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or have confirmed you have, you can get tested for free at any testing center using your Blue Cross NC health plan.
Our Latest COVID-19 Blog Articles
If someone told me at the beginning of the year that I, along with 98% of my colleagues, would be working from home full time, I wouldn’t have believed them. Three and a half months later, this is now the new normal for many of us.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, there is a lot of uncertainty about the crisis. With so much new information surfacing and new articles being shared online – which seem to give different advice every hour – it can be difficult to be sure that what you’re reading is true. This only adds to the confusion and concern during an already scary time.
Three of my family members are sick with coronavirus. They are quarantined together in their home in the United Kingdom, where local hospitals have run out of space to care for them.
We’re only four months into 2020 and already, it’s a year none of us will soon forget. Concerns about the novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, have – for the time being – changed how we think of the most basic parts of our lives: where we do our work, how we engage with family and friends, even what we touch.