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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

As we learn more about the virus, the CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. Click here to find the most current information from the CDC.

Click here for COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ.

What is coronavirus?

The Coronavirus ( COVID-19) is an airborne virus in the corona viral family, but it is more severe and spreads easily.

How does it spread?

The virus is thought to spread similarly to influenza. That is, it spreads person to person through respiratory droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby - typically within 6 feet - or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Chest pain
  • Rash
  • Muscle pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Confusion

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you begin to develop symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately. If you need a doctor, call Baton Rouge General Physicians at (225) 763-4500. Do not go to your health care provider or hospital without calling first. If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus stay at home except to get medical care.

  • Keep track of your symptoms.
  • If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.

If you think you are sick with COVID-19, same-day testing is available at BRG Express Care.

BRG Express Care - Dutchtown
13201 Highway 73, Suite 102
Geismar, LA 70734
(225) 763-4500
Weekdays: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

BRG Express Care - Highland Village
4410 Highland Road, Suite A3
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(225) 831-4025
Weekdays: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Who should take a COVID-19 test and when?

Anyone who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested as soon as possible to limit the risk of spreading the virus.

  • If the test comes back positive, they should isolate immediately.
  • If the test is negative, retest again between five and seven days after exposure.
  • If COVID-19 symptoms develop, test and isolate until the results are returned

If you are exposed to someone who is suspected or confirmed COVID positive, wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days until you receive a negative test result.

How is COVID-19 treated?

Currently, there are no antiviral medications available to treat Coronavirus. If you are diagnosed, home care is recommended to relieve your symptoms.

What is a Monoclonal Antibody Infusion?

A monoclonal antibody infusion is a treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 88 pounds) with a positive viral COVID test and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. This includes those who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions.

Currently, the FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to permit administration of Casirivimab/Imdevimab for this treatment. Casirivimab and Imdevimab are monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory[1]produced molecules engineered to serve as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system's attack on pathogens. Casirivimab and Imdevimab, administered together, are designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus.

Contact your doctor to see if you meet the criteria.

What are severe complications from this virus?

While most people with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms, the disease can cause severe medical complications and could lead to death. Older adults, the unvaccinated, and people with existing medical conditions are at a greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. Complications can include:

  • Trouble breathing and pneumonia
  • Organ failure in several organs
  • Heart Problems that can be permanent
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome which is severe lung condition that causes a low amount of oxygen to go through the bloodstream to your organs.
  • Blood clots
  • Acute kidney problems

Who needs to quarantine?

The CDC advises that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine following an exposure to COVID-19. Anyone who receives a positive COVID-19 test should isolate immediately and should isolate under the following these guidelines:

  • If symptomatic, at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared, symptoms are improving, and at least 24 hours with no fever without taking fever-reducing medication.
  • If asymptomatic but with a positive test, 10 days from the time the test sample was collected.

When should I seek emergency care?

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

How can I prevent myself from getting sick?

The best form of prevention is vaccination. If you are unable to receive the vaccine, it is recommended that you wear a mask that properly fits over your nose and mouth, and practice social distancing when in public. Keep a distance of 6 feet between you and others and wash your hands often.

Can a person have COVID-19 without having symptoms?


How can I protect myself?

Vaccination is currently the best form of protection. While no vaccine is perfect and you can still get sick after being vaccinated, your risk of severe, long-term illness greatly decreases after being fully vaccinated. Everyday preventative actions can also help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including the coronavirus and the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home especially when you are sick.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Who is at higher risk?

Anyone can contract the coronavirus, however anyone with the following conditions are at an increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • The Unvaccinated
  • Older Adults
  • Pregnant People
  • People with Medical Conditions:
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Down Syndrome
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
    • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
    • Severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Smoking
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

How common is a COVID-19 infection for people who are fully vaccinated?

While infections happen in only a small portion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the delta and various strains of the COVID-19 virus, evidence suggests that those who are fully vaccinated who do become re-infected can spread the virus to others.

Why is vaccination so important?

Vaccination is important because COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States and are critical to slowing the spread, helping to protect our families and loves ones, and ending this pandemic so our lives can return to normal.

Click here for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Is it true that young people don’t get hospitalized with COVID?

In 2020, while we saw that COVID mostly impacted our senior population, younger people are making up a greater proportion of people in the hospital in this current surge. In Baton Rouge, between July 1, 2021 and August 9, 2021 the 30 – 49 age group represented 30% of hospitalizations. This is in part because more older people are now vaccinated. In fact, in Louisiana, 80% of those over 70 are vaccinated compared to 32% in the 30 – 39 age group. Even if a younger person has a milder case not requiring hospitalization, they may experience long COVID which impacts about 1 in 3 people. People with long COVID experience symptoms for months following a diagnosis including fatigue, headaches, breathlessness and difficulty concentrating to name a few.

Do the people who die of COVID die of underlying conditions and not COVID itself?

If you have previous underlying conditions like obesity, high blood pressure or other diseases or illnesses, you may be at an increased risk of getting a serious case of COVID. COVID-19 can also cause many devastating clinical complications – from pneumonia and respiratory failure to blood clots, stroke and even heart attacks. If a patient has diabetes for example, and gets hospitalized with a critical case of COVID, it may be harder for them to fight the virus compared to someone with no pre-existing health issues. In this situation, if the patient dies, their death would be attributed to COVID and not diabetes, because if they had not gotten sick with COVID, they would still be alive.

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