What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, is a new disease caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. While the COVID-19 outbreak began in China, it has now spreading worldwide. Although a vaccine for COVID-19 was recently approved, it is not widely accessible to the public yet. View more FAQs related to what you need to know about COVID-19 and your risk.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why the CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and can include:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
New loss of taste or smell
This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Most people who become sick do not require hospitalization, but older adults, people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to require more advanced care. Learn more about symptoms and see how symptoms compare between COVID-19, the flu and colds.
Lake Health, local health departments, the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are closely monitoring COVID-19 in our region and have detailed preparedness plans in place that are updated frequently as new developments occur. Patients are being screened at all points of entry into the Lake Health system for certain criteria as defined by the CDC. Patients who meet the CDC guidelines will be referred for testing as appropriate.
If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call your health care provider first or seek virtual care through Lake Health Online Quick Care. Unless it’s a medical emergency, it’s important to stay home if you feel sick to reduce the spread of illness. Your doctor’s office can help give instructions on how to get the care you need and determine if you meet the CDC guidelines for testing based on your symptoms, travel and exposure. If you do meet the criteria, you’ll be advised on how to proceed with testing. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and travel history. We've created a free screening questionnaire based on CDC guidelines to help you determine the most appropriate level of care for you, available through Online Quick Care.
Lake Health has visitor restrictions for all facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our patients, visitors and staff. Learn more about how we've reopened for care, with safety precautions in place.
No visitors are allowed, except to visit or accompany patients under these circumstances.
Take action and prepare for COVID-19. Stop the spread of disease-causing germs and take steps to protect yourself by:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash with soap and water.
- Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces with a disinfectant that kills viruses.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you're sick.
- Wear a mask.
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you.
The Ohio Department of Health recommends keeping an adequate supply of water and food in your home, asking about your employer's preparedness plans, and keeping a working thermometer and respiratory medications on hand.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides recommendations for canceling or postponing your travel based on potential health risks, such as the risk of getting COVID-19. Learn more. In general, travelers can take routine precautions to help reduce their risk of getting sick, including:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
For general questions, the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 8 pm and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). Call center staff includes licensed nurses and infectious disease experts. This team can answer questions and provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public and the state’s response.
These trusted resources offer up-to-date information about COVID-19:
- Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health