COVID-19: What to Know

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get COVID-19?

It's believed that the virus originally came from an animal, but research has found that it can now spread person-to-person. Currently, it's unclear how easily the virus is spread between people. Learn more about the transmission of COVID-19 here.

Can it be passed person to person?

Research indicates that the virus can spread between people, though it's unclear how easily that occurs. Learn more about the person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 here.

Who tests for COVID-19?

Currently, there is no commercial test available for hospitals, physician practices or other outpatient facilities. All tests are sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health in the state where the test was conducted.

How is it treated?

Right now, there's no specific treatment for COVID-19. Patients who have the virus will receive medical care to help relieve symptoms.

Is there a vaccine?

At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

I have a trip planned. What do I do?

At this time, we recommend reassessing your upcoming trip, and limiting any nonessential travel. The CDC has outlined additional measures for anyone planning to travel abroad. Review their guidelines here.

What is CaroMont Health doing to prepare for patients who may have the virus?

For several months, leaders and employees at CaroMont Health have been working with local health officials and emergency management leaders to prepare for a highly contagious respiratory pathogen like COVID-19. Once the virus took hold in cities across the country, the health system convened a task force of health system leaders, including medical and nursing leader, infection prevention specialists and experts from across all operational disciplines to plan our response to a local outbreak of COVID-19.

In the days since COVID-19 began to spread across the country, leaders at CaroMont Health have been meeting to discuss the operations, logistics, medical and clinical resources, staffing, financial planning and technology needed for the health system to deal with the virus for months to come.

With recent news the virus is spreading throughout the community, preparation and readiness has become more urgent. For us, that means activating response plans, suspending non-essential programs and services, and redeploying employees to critical functions. Over the last few weeks, we’ve postponed non-essential functions, like elective surgeries and procedures and annual wellness check-ups and well visits in the doctor’s office. Volunteers, non-essential vendors, students, and clergy and spiritual leaders have also been asked to suspend activities in the health system. Additionally, a “no visitation” policy was recently put into place to reduce the number of people visiting CaroMont Regional Medical Center, the Birthplace, Courtland Terrace and physician's offices.

Is it still safe to come to the hospital as a visitor?

To help protect the health of our patients and employees, CaroMont Health has expanded visitor restrictions for CaroMont Regional Medical Center, the Birthplace and CaroMont Medical Group. Restrictions are in accordance with the latest guidance from federal, state and local health officials and are aimed at helping control the spread of respiratory illnesses, like Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here for more information.

How will CaroMont Health report confirmed cases?

CaroMont Health will not report cases due to HIPAA and patient privacy. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and local DHHS offices report all positive COVID-19 results.

How can I support COVID-19 efforts at CaroMont Health?

To learn how you can support COVID-19 efforts at CaroMont Health, please click here.

Who is at increased risk?

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19. If you or a loved one falls into this category, please consult with your healthcare provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

I’m pregnant, what should I know?

At this time, there are no reports regarding the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. However, we do know that pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which may make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections like the coronavirus. With this in mind, pregnant women should take preventive actions like washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick in order to avoid infection.

I’m breastfeeding, what should I know?

At this time, the CDC has no specific guidance for breastfeeding during infection with similar viruses. If you have symptoms of the novel coronavirus and believe you and your baby may be at risk, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider.

I have a new baby, what should I know?

If you have symptoms of the novel coronavirus and believe you and your baby may be at risk, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider.

I have young children, what should I know?

There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to this illness, and in fact, research of similar viruses has found that infection among children is relatively uncommon. Like adults, children should take preventive actions to avoid infection, such as washing hands and using hand sanitizer.

I have an elderly family member living with me, what should I know?

Research indicates that older adults, and those with chronic diseases, are more likely to become very ill if exposed to the virus. Limiting immediate contact within the home is important, and if you are well and able, procurring and providing living essentials such as food, cleaning supplies and medications to your in-home relative will help reduce non-essential travel and possible exposure.