COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions


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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between 2019 novel coronavirus (2019nCoV), coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and SARS-CoV-2?

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially renamed the clinical condition “coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)”. On the same day, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses renamed the virus that causes COVID-19 “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)”.

The WHO had originally called this emerging zoonotic infectious illness 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

What is coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. You can learn more about the virus at the CDC website.

The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness. A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnoses.

What is the source of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate amongst animals, including camels, cats and bats. It is suspected that COVID-19 originated from an animal source. More information about preventing the spead of COVID-9 by visiting the CDC site How to Protect Yourself & Others.

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Symptoms begin 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Complications include secondary bacterial pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death.

How does the virus spread?

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads and the severity of illness it causes. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets that are produced when someone infected with the virus coughs or sneezes. This can occur from direct contact with the droplets or from fomite transmission.

The virus has also been detected in asymptomatic persons, suggesting that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.

How long can SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, survive on surfaces?

recent study found that SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on surfaces for variable periods of time, depending on the type of surface. The survival time on surfaces ranged from four hours (copper) to three days (plastic and stainless steel). However, we don’t have direct data for a temperature-based cutoff for inactivation at this point. The necessary temperature would also be based on the materials of the surface, the environment, etc.

To kill the virus on surfaces, use a disinfectant that has been shown to be effective against SARS-CoV-2. A list of approved disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2 can be found on the EPA website. Be sure to clean frequently touched surfaces and objects often, such as counters, tabletops, door knobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, and bedside tables.

What is community spread?

Community spread occurs when people have been infected with a virus in an area and it is unclear where or who they got the disease from.


Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying (may not prevent you from getting the virus). As with vaccines for other diseases, you are protected best when you stay up to date. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 12 years and older also receive a booster dose. Make sure to keep up with your vaccine card. If you lose your card click here to look up your record.

Approved or Authorized Vaccines
Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved for use in the United States to prevent COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and are preferred as per the CDC. The Johnson & Johnson’s/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is another option that will aid in reducing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms but this vaccine booster is only recommended in some situations.


My 11-year-old will be turning 12 before he is eligible to get his second dose. Which vaccine should he get for the second dose?

Dosages are determined by age, not a child’s size or weight. Some children may be 11 years old when they get their first dose and 12 at the time of their second dose. They should receive the dose recommended for their age on the day of vaccination, according to the CDC.

Are there any medications or treatment options available for COVID-19?

If you test positive and are an older adult or someone who is at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, treatment may be available. Contact a healthcare provider right away after a positive test to determine if you are eligible, even if your symptoms are mild right now. You can also visit a Test to Treat location and, if eligible, receive a prescription from a provider. Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within the first few days to be effective.

Treatments used for COVID-19 should be prescribed by your healthcare provider. People have been seriously harmed and even died after taking products not approved for use to treat or prevent COVID-19, even products approved or prescribed for other uses. Talk to your healthcare provider about what option may be best for you.

Drugs Approved or Authorized for Use

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can issue emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to allow healthcare providers to use products that are not yet approved, or that are approved for other uses, to treat patients with COVID-19 in the U.S. if certain legal requirements are met.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed and regularly updates Treatment Guidelines to help guide healthcare providers caring for patients with COVID-19, including when clinicians might consider using one of the products allowed for use under an EUA.

How can I help protect myself and others from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact and maintain six feet of distance from others.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (not your hands), then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Consider wearing cloth face coverings, if it can be safely managed, in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Who is at serious risk for illness from COVID-19?

Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, those at higher risk for serious illness include people aged 65 years and older, people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, particularly if not well-controlled.

It is recommended that these individuals practice enhanced prevention strategies. CDC regularly updates a risk assessment and you can find information about individuals who are considered to be at higher risk here.

You should talk with your healthcare provider if you have a question about your health or how your health condition is being managed.

Are people with disabilities at higher risk?

Most people with disabilities are not inherently at higher risk for becoming infected with or having severe illness from COVID-19. Some people with physical limitations or other disabilities might be at a higher risk of infection because of an underlying medical condition.

People with certain disabilities might experience higher rates of chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness and poorer outcomes from COVID-19.

You should talk with your healthcare provider if you have any questions about your health condition.

Should I use a cloth face covering in public?

Individuals engaging in essential activities who can safely manage their own cloth face coverings should consider wearing a mask in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.

Cloth face coverings:

  • Should not be placed on children less than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
  • Should be laundered or disposed of appropriately.

A face covering does not replace the need for frequent and vigorous handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and practicing physical distancing (6 feet away) to the extent possible. For more information on cloth face coverings, please see the CDC website.


What is the treatment for COVID-19?

Veklury (Remdesivir) is an antiviral drug approved for use in adults and pediatric patients [12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds)] for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.

SARS-COV-2-targeting Monoclonal Antibodies 

SARS-COV-2-targeting monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are laboratory-produced antibodies that can help the immune system’s attack on SARS-COV-2. These mAbs block entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus. The following SARS-COV-2-targeting mAbs are authorized for use through an EUA for the treatment of certain patients with COVID-19. 

On June 25, 2021, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) issued a nationwide pause on the distribution of bamlanivimab and etesevimab.

For local availability of these treatments, please contact the Hopi Health Care Center COVID-19 Hotline at 928-737-6187.

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19 and your healthcare provider will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Testing does not change an individual’s treatment or outcome. Individuals who have mild symptoms that otherwise would not cause them to seek healthcare should stay at home and away from others.

Public health and healthcare professionals should prioritize testing at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory (ASPHL) among three specific groups:

  1. Healthcare workers, first responders, and employer identified critical infrastructure personnel with COVID-19 symptoms
  2. Individuals living in congregate settings or children in foster care with symptoms of COVID-19
  3. Individuals hospitalized with respiratory symptoms

Healthy individuals do not require testing. These individuals should practice physical-distancing and follow the recommendations of their local and state public health authorities. Critical infrastructure personnel are based on the CISA Infrastructure Sectors: Chemical, Emergency Services, Energy, Nuclear, Water.

How do you test a person for COVID-19?

At this time, diagnostic testing for COVID-19 can be conducted through the local Hopi Health Care Center, or the Tuba City Regional Health Care, or at the nearest medical facility.

Laboratory Test

  • Sample can either be a nasal swab or saliva
  • Results usually in 1-3 days
  • Results are reliable for people with and without symptoms
  • No follow-up test required
  • Common example: PCR test

Rapid Test

  • Sample is usually a nasal swab
  • Results usually in 15-30 minutes
  • Results may be less reliable for people without symptoms
  • Follow-up test may be required
  • Common example: Antigen test

Healthcare providers should contact the COVID-19 Hotline (1-844-542-8201) to request testing at ASPHL and coordinate specimen collection. For individuals who do not meet the criteria for testing at ASPHL, healthcare providers can coordinate testing with commercial laboratories.

I had a COVID-19 test, what should I do next with my results?

  • If a patient is symptomatic* and awaiting COVID-19 test results:
    • Stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until results are available. Once results are available, follow recommendations below based on results.
  • If a patient is symptomatic* and tested positive for COVID-19 by PCR or serology**:
    • Stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until you have had no fever for at least 3 days (72 hours) without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved; AND
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • If a patient is asymptomatic and awaiting COVID-19 test results:
    • No isolation is required while waiting for test results. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Once results are available, follow recommendations based on results.
  • If a patient is symptomatic* and tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR or serology**:
    • Stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until you have had no fever for at least 3 days (72 hours) without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved.
  • If a patient is symptomatic* and has not been tested for COVID-19 by PCR or serology**:
    • Stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until you have had no fever for at least 3 days (72 hours) without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; AND
    • Other symptoms have improved; AND
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • If a patient is asymptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 by serology:
    • Use a cloth face covering while outside your home for at least 10 days since specimen collection and take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • Consider getting a PCR test to help determine if you are currently infected or were previously exposed.
      • A positive result for COVID-19 (without symptoms) indicates you may currently be infected or have been previously exposed.
      • A positive PCR test would indicate that you are currently infected with the virus, and you must stay home away from others or under isolation precautions until 10 days have passed since specimen collection.
    • Healthcare workers and first responders should wear a surgical mask or respirator while providing patient care for 10 days after specimen collection.
  • If a patient is asymptomatic and tested negative for COVID-19 by PCR or serology:
    • No isolation is required. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

*People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

**If a patient is tested by both PCR and serology while they are symptomatic, use PCR results to determine isolation.