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.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?

Reported COVID-19 cases have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness, and are most likely to appear 2-14 days after initial exposure. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing these symptoms and think you have or have been exposed to COVID-19, DO NOT go directly to your doctor's office or an urgent care location without first calling to alert them to your possible COVID-19 exposure or infection. This helps our team stay healthy while we focus on treating our neighbors and preventing further exposure.

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Can it be passed from person to person?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes. 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?

CaroMont Health offers COVID-19 and Antibody testing for the virus. Learn more about the process here. You can also visit your state or local health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first.

Who should get tested?

Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Considerations for who should get tested include:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19
  • People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
  • People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot socially distance as needed, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings
  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state ​health department

If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

How is it treated?

Right now, there's no specific treatment for COVID-19. If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19:

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from others
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Keep in contact with your provider

If you are showing any of the emergency symptoms of COVID-19, seek emergency medical care immediately. Click here to learn more.

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 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.

Leaders at CaroMont Health continue 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. This includes activating response plans, suspending non-essential programs and services, and redeploying employees to critical functions. In addition, we’ve postponed non-essential functions like elective surgeries and procedures. Volunteers, non-essential vendors, students, and clergy and spiritual leaders have also been asked to suspend activities in the health system. Additionally, we have revised our visitation restrictions 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. People at increased risk, and those who live or visit with them, need to take precautions to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.

​The CDC also offers a list of those who should take extra precautions. Click here to view that list. If you or a loved one falls into any of these categories, 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?

Those who are pregnant might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. Therefore, if you are pregnant, be mindful about reducing your risk of getting sick. With this in mind, pregnant women should take preventive actions like wearing a mask, washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick in order to avoid infection. Click here to learn more.

I’m breastfeeding, what should I know?

Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants. You, along with your family and healthcare providers, should decide whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding. We do not know for sure if mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus to babies in their breast milk, but the limited data available suggest this is not likely.

If you have symptoms of the COVID-19 and believe you and your baby may be at risk, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider. Click here to learn more about the CDC's guidelines for breastfeeding.

I have a new baby, what should I know?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 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?

While fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to others. Children, like adults, who have COVID-19 but have no symptoms (“asymptomatic”) can still spread the virus to others.

Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or have no symptoms at all. However, some children can get severely ill from COVID-19. Some reports suggest that infants under 1 year old and those with underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 than other children. Like adults, children should take preventive actions to avoid infection, such as washing hands, wearing a masks and practicing social distancing. Call your child’s healthcare provider if you are worried about your child’s health or if your child has symptoms of COVID-19.

In case of emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency department. Emergency departments have infection prevention plans to protect you and your child from getting COVID-19 if your child needs emergency care. Do not delay getting emergency care for your child because of COVID-19.

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.

Is there a vaccine?

Yes. Currently, two vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

At this time, CaroMont Health's vaccine clinic is offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Some of our CaroMont Health primary clinics are offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine - please ask your care team for more information. If you would like to learn more about how to get the COVID-19 vaccine at CaroMont Health, click here.

How many shots of the vaccine is needed?

CaroMont Health currently has the Pfizer vaccine which is 2 shots, 21 days apart. You should not be scheduled to receive the 2nd dose earlier than recommended. You should not interchange one vaccine product for another. If your 1st dose is a Pfizer vaccine, your 2nd dose should be a Pfizer vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine should not be given with other vaccines. There should be a wait period before getting any other type of vaccine. For example, if you need a tetanus vaccine, you schedule the COVID-19 and the tetanus vaccines to be separated by a minimum of 14 days.

Is a COVID-19 booster dose required?

No additional doses beyond the 2-dose primary series are currently recommended.

Can a person with COVID-19 infection be vaccinated?

  • If you are currently infected with COVID-19, you should wait to get the vaccine until you are no longer acutely ill, and you have met the criteria to discontinue isolation.
    • You may discontinue isolation when 1) 10 days have passed since symptom onset AND 2) at least 24 hours have passed since you have not had a fever and did not take any fever-reducing medications AND 3) your other symptoms have improved.
  • If you have received an antibody treatment, convalescent serum, or both for COVID-19, can you receive the vaccine?
    • Eventually yes, but not right away. Because these treatments may interfere with the vaccine response, making the vaccine less effective, it is recommended that you defer immunization for 90 days.

What if I develop COVID-19 between my 2 doses?

You should wait until you have recovered from the acute illness and have met the requirements to discontinue isolation before getting your 2nd dose. See question above.

Can pregnant people be vaccinated?

Yes, a pregnant or lactating person is eligible to receive the vaccine. Currently, there is little data on the safety of this vaccine for pregnant or lactating people.

Because of the lack of data about the vaccine, if you are pregnant or lactating, you should consult with your OB-GYN before deciding to get the vaccine.

Can a person who has received the COVID-19 vaccine still spread COVID-19?

At this time, it is not known if the vaccine will have any effect on preventing the spread of COVID-19. This is one reason why the current recommendation after receiving the vaccine is to continue with the use of masking, social distancing, and gathering restrictions.

Does the current vaccine work on the new coronavirus variants?

Current data suggests that the current COVID-19 vaccines are effective with the new strains of coronavirus that have been recently identified.