General Questions

Q. What is a novel coronavirus?
A. A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Q. Why is COVID-19?
A. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID, "CO" stands for "corona," "VI" for "virus," and "D" for disease. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.

Q. Who is at risk for COVID-19?
A. People of all ages risk being infected by the COVID-19 virus. However, older persons, and individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions, are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill. These pre-existing conditions include obesity, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and heart disease. Vaccines are now available that reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Q. What is the risk to pregnant women of getting COVID-19? Is it easier for pregnant women to become ill with the disease?
A. According to current research, it appears that pregnant women are at a greater risk of becoming ill from COVID-19 than persons who are not pregnant. Expectant mothers who are infected may also run a higher risk of pregnancy complications, including giving birth prematurely. It’s always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses. 

If you are pregnant, being vaccinated for COVID-19 may be an option. Speak with your physician before scheduling a vaccination appointment. 

Q. What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
A. Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and sudden loss of taste or smell. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms

Q. Do the symptoms of COVID-19 differ between children and adults?

A. COVID-19 symptoms are similar across all ages but tend to be milder in children than in middle-aged adults or the elderly. That said, children have gotten sick with COVID-19, in some cases fatally. Infants under the age of one year, and young children with one or more underlying medical conditions, appear to be especially vulnerable. The underlying conditions include asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, immunological disorders, and certain genetic and neurological conditions.

Q. Is COVID-19 the same as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)?

A: No, but COVID-19 and SARS do have something in common. COVID-19 is a new respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that reached pandemic levels in 2019. Scientists have named this virus “SARS-CoV-2”. The original SARS outbreak, which occurred in 2002-2003, was caused by a different coronavirus, now called “SARS-CoV”. The two diseases are not identical. SARS was less infectious than COVID-19 – it spread less easily – but was also more dangerous. SARS had a higher mortality rate than COVID-19.

Q. How does COVID-19 spread?

A: The COVID-19 virus is spread primarily by means of close contact with infected individuals. Close contact is defined as being at or within six feet of another person (about two arm lengths). COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, which means that the virus spreads through the air by means of droplets released while breathing, coughing, sneezing, talking, shouting, or singing. These droplets, which can remain airborne for long periods of time, are inhaled by other persons through the nose or mouth. This is the reason for social distancing: By staying six feet or more away from other people, you reduce, though not eliminate, the possibility of infection by aerial transmission. 

A second, less common, means of transmission is by touching an object or surface where the virus is located. The virus can enter the body if you bring your hands to your mouth, nose, or eyes. This is why frequent handwashing is an important safeguard in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Vaccination is one of the best means of protecting yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19. For more information on vaccination at Baptist Health, go here.

Testing and Results

Q. How long does it take to get test results?
A. Test result return times will vary depending on several factors, including the type of test you receive. A rapid point-of-care test can provide results the same day. Tests analyzed at a medical laboratory typically require two to four days of response time.  

Q. Who should get tested for COVID-19? What are the steps?
A. Persons who should be tested for COVID-19 include:

  • Anyone with symptoms, including fever, unproductive cough, labored breathing, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, and loss of taste or smell.
  • Anyone who has been exposed to an individual with the virus (defined as being within six feet for 15 minutes or more) or had a suspected exposure.
  • Anyone who has been directed for testing by a medical or public health professional.
  • Anyone who desires to be tested due to a concern they have.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for guidance on being tested. In addition to a physician office visit, you have the option of screening at home using Baptist Health Virtual Care. If you have severe symptoms, such as disorientation, persistent chest pain or pressure, or lip discoloration, seek care immediately at the nearest medical emergency facility.

Locations for COVID-19 Testing

Baptist Health urgent care locations provide COVID-19 evaluation and testing.

Start COVID-19 Testing Online & Save Time

If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, Baptist Health is able to provide a virtual care visit and, if needed, order a COVID-19 test to the urgent care closest to you. You will be charged the co-pay cost for an urgent care video visit, and any remaining cost will be billed to your insurance. To get started:

  1. Begin an urgent care video visit by logging in or signing up for MyChart.
  2. Be seen virtually by a Baptist Health provider. If needed, the provider will order a COVID-19 test at the urgent care nearest you.
  3. Drive to the urgent care identified by your provider for your testing appointment.
  4. Wait for your COVID-19 test results, delivered in 1-2 days depending on testing volumes. You will be contacted via phone with your test result and also notified via MyChart.

This option is only for those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that do not require an Emergency Room visit.

Find an Urgent Care Location Near You

Urgent Care Wait Times and Availability

Wait times vary at our urgent care locations based on demand and time of day. Because our urgent cares are not only COVID-19 testing locations, we see a variety of patients throughout the day for walk-ins. However, we do offer Online Check-In at our urgent care locations which allows you to reserve your spot in line. Please note that Online Check-In is not an appointment so it is not a guarantee of when you will be seen by a provider. To find a location with Online Check-In near you, visit Appointments at our urgent care clinics are not available.

If test results are negative, you may still be required to quarantine, depending on your symptoms or the nature of your exposure. If results are positive, you will be directed to the hospital if your symptoms are severe and require medical treatment. If your case is mild, you should remain at home in isolation.

Q. How young can the patient be to test for the virus?
A. At this time there is no age limit on who can be tested.

Q. Does insurance pay for the test?
A. Check with your insurer on its policy regarding COVID-19 testing.

Q. Are you sending people home after they’re tested?
A. Those who have been exposed to COVID-19 but have mild symptoms and stable vital signs, must self-quarantine until test results are known. You will be sent home with instructions for self-quarantine if hospitalization is not required.

Q. Do patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 need to be admitted to the hospital?
A. Treatment of COVID-19 does not always require hospitalization. In fact, many, if not most, cases of COVID-19 are relatively mild and can be treated successfully at home. Hospitalization is reserved for severe cases, especially among the most vulnerable members of our population: the elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions that increase their health risk. The clinical management of hospitalized patients emphasizes supportive care for individuals suffering from COVID-related complications, including respiratory failure, septic shock, and multi-organ failure.

Protecting You and Your Family

Q. How can I help protect myself?
A. Visit the COVID-19 Prevention page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.

Q. How do I protect my family?
A. There are a number of steps that you can take to protect your family from COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings, especially indoors
  • Any family member two years of age or older should wear a cloth or non-surgical face mask when around others
  • Make sure you and your family wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Teach your children to sneeze and cough into a tissue and throw it away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, teach them to cough or sneeze into their arm or elbow, not their hands
  • Clean and disinfect your home often using standard cleaning supplies
  • Avoid touching your face and teach your children to do the same.
  • Arrange for the members of your household to be vaccinated with one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines. Individuals must be ages 6 months or older for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, and 18 years and older for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

Q. Are there any approved vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19?

A: As of July 2021, there are three approved COVID-19 vaccines: 1) Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine, 2) Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, and 3) Johnson & Johnson Vaccine. Additional vaccines are in various phases of clinical trials and approval. 

Q. What cleaning products should I use to protect against COVID-19?

A: The COVID-19 virus is spread chiefly by means of person-to-person contact, most commonly through respiratory droplets. Researchers also believe that transmission can occur indirectly, when a healthy person touches a surface previously infected by someone with the virus, though this happens less frequently than airborne transmission. There is evidence that the COVID-19 virus remains viable for some time outside the human body. 

For this reason, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, such as light switches, doorknobs, countertops, and toilets, is a sensible precaution. Where appropriate, hard surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. Bleach solutions may also be used. Softer materials, including carpet, drapes, throws, and pillows, may require specialized cleaners and laundering. Always wear gloves while cleaning and disinfecting, and wash your hands immediately afterwards. 

Q. How can I protect my child from COVID-19 infection?
A. You can help protect your child from COVID-19 by encouraging them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy:

  • Stay home
  • Wash hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing)
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g., tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
  • Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.

There are two COVID-19 vaccines for children over the age of 6 months. You can provide your family with an additional means of protection by encouraging all eligible members of the household to undergo vaccination.

Q. Should I wear a facemask?
A: To maximize protection and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.

You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance.

Face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Q. Can COVID-19 be spread through packages in the mail?

A: The COVID-19 virus is primarily spread through person-to-person contact, mostly in the form of aerial droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking. There is some evidence, however, that it can be spread indirectly, through touching an infected surface, because of the virus’s ability to survive for a certain period of time outside the body. It is therefore theoretically possible to become infected by handling packages or letters delivered to your home. Though the risk of infection is low, washing your hands after handling the mail, with soap and hot water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, is a simple way of eliminating that risk. 

Q. What do I do if I get sick?
A. If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:

  • Seek medical care.
  • Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.

If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent possible exposure to COVID-19.

One means of avoiding illness is to be vaccinated prior to any infection. If, however, you develop COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 (even without symptoms), or have been recently exposed to someone who is infected, then you’ll need to delay vaccination until after you’ve met the CDC’s criteria for ending medical isolation.

Q. Is it safe for me to come to the ER?
A. If you have fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your doctor or local health department. If your symptoms are mild, go to for an eVisit or video visit with a provider through Baptist Health Virtual Care, available to patients who have been seen in a Baptist Health facility or physician’s office in the past three years. Only go to the Emergency Room if directed, or if it’s the type of medical emergency that would have previously sent you to the ER. We can reassure you that recommended precautions are being taken to protect patients and staff.

Q. How long does it take to recover from COVID-19?

A: Recovery time from COVID-19 infection varies with age, degree of severity, and general health status. The majority of persons who are infected by the virus – four out of five or 80 percent – are asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms. You may feel poorly but should recover in roughly one to two weeks’ time, without the need of hospital care. More severe cases will require hospitalization, possibly including intensive care. Treatment will focus on maintaining an individual’s cardiopulmonary health and avoiding serious medical complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recovery in difficult cases varies but can take up to six weeks or more. 

Q. What is the difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine?
A. Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, they should self-isolate if symptoms are mild and do not require hospitalization.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease. If an individual has come into contact with someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19, they should self-quarantine for the recommended 14 days. The CDC provides additional guidance and exceptions for healthcare workers and those with negative tests here. Additionally, if an individual undergoes testing for COVID-19, they should self-quarantine while awaiting the results of the test.

Q. What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?
A. If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Wash your hands often
  • Stock up on supplies to avoid multiple trips out of the home
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others when you go out in public
  • Keep away from others who are sick
  • Limit close contact
  • Avoid crowds and travel
  • Watch for symptoms and emergency signs

Being vaccinated for COVID-19 is especially important for persons with a higher-than-normal risk of becoming infected. To learn more about the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, including availability, click this link.

Q. What is community spread?
A. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Q. Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

A. Yes. About 20 percent of all persons infected by the COVID-19 virus are asymptomatic – that is, without symptoms – but are still able to transmit the disease to other individuals. One reason for this is that some asymptomatic persons actually have “occult” or unrecognized symptoms that foster transmission. A second is that some asymptomatic individuals are, in reality, pre-symptomatic, meaning that they will eventually develop some aspects of the disease. The COVID-19 viral load is heaviest in the early, pre-symptomatic phase, so a single sneeze from an otherwise healthy individual can release billions of virus particles into the air.

Q. Can someone who has COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
A. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That’s why the CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home, depending on the severity of their illness, until they no longer pose a risk of infecting others. How long someone is actively sick can vary, so the decision on when to release them from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials. This decision involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.

Q. Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the disease?

Any individual who was exposed to COVID-19, and who quarantines for 14 days without getting ill or developing symptoms, is unlikely to be a source of infection to others. The CDC recommends a 14-day quarantine from time of exposure because that is the longest known incubation period for similar viruses. Under certain circumstances, this period can be shortened, in accordance with guidelines established by local public-health officials. Options include a ten-day quarantine period without COVID testing and a seven-day period with a negative COVID test taken on day five or later.

Any person who ends quarantine prior to the completion of the 14-day period needs to observe social distancing, wear a cloth or non-surgical face mask in public, continue to monitor symptoms, and report any adverse change in condition to the appropriate authorities. Individual developing symptoms at this time must isolate at home.

Q. Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?
A. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there’s no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. As always, it’s important to wash your hands for 20 seconds before preparing food. In general, because of the poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there’s likely a very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated or frozen temperatures.

Q. Can I get COVID-19 from my pets or other animals?

A: There is, at this time, no definitive evidence that animals can transmit the COVID-19 virus to humans. There are some cases in which dogs, ferrets, and felines (both domesticated cats and tigers) have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after contact with humans. In scientifically controlled experiments, these animals have also been shown to spread the virus to other members of their species. Keeping in mind that COVID-19 is mostly spread by human-to-human contact, following appropriate rules of hygiene before and after interacting with pets, is a sound precautionary measure. 

Q. What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
A. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who aren’t sick. The duration of a COVID-19 virus can vary from person to person. So the decision of when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis using these requirements:

  • The patient is free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough.
  • The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart.

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. In the case of those with symptoms of COVID-19, the quarantine period is typically 14 days, the longest-known incubation period for similar coronaviruses.

Q. What do I do if I think I have been exposed?
A. If you believe you have – or may have – been in contact with the COVID-19 virus, you should quarantine yourself for 14 days from your last potential exposure. Here are some basic guidelines for self-quarantine:

  • Stay home or in another location away from other people, if possible.
  • At home, it’s best to stay to yourself and interact with as few people as possible.
  • Take your temperature twice each day; be aware of a cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Stay home from school or work. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Avoid public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares.
  • Avoid crowded places and limit activities outside your home.
  • Keep your distance from others, six feet or more.
  • If you notice a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, contact your local health department or physician immediately.
  • If you need to obtain other medical care, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • The CDC provides additional guidance on quarantine and exceptions for healthcare workers and those with negative tests here.

One means of avoiding illness is to be vaccinated prior to any infection. If, however, you develop COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 (even without symptoms), or have been recently exposed to someone who is infected, then you’ll need to delay vaccination until after you’ve met the CDC’s criteria for ending medical isolation.

Q. How do I deal with stress?
A. If your mental health is being impacted by the stress of the coronavirus, you may want to seek professional help. However, there are things you can do to manage what you can and let go of what you can't. With the increasing amount of information available about COVID-19, there is still a lot we don’t know. It’s important to learn what you can do to protect yourself and your family, but it’s also important to understand there is a lot you can’t control. Distance yourself from the myths and conspiracy theories that are being passed around, because they take away focus from the things you actually can control.

If your stress level is driven by concerns about developing a COVID-19 infection, consider undergoing vaccination. Clinical trials show the three publicly distributed vaccines to be effective in preventing COVID-19, especially in its most serious forms. To learn more about these vaccines, including availability, click this link.

Q. How do I talk to my children about COVID-19?

A. With all the news coverage and closings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your children can become anxious and frightened. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to filter information and talk about it in ways that make it easier for them to understand. These tips can help:

  • Reassure them by reminding your children that doctors and researchers are learning as much as they can about COVID-19 and are taking steps to help keep everyone safe. You might tell them that medical researchers have developed effective vaccines in record time, and that the risk of infection will decline with increased levels of vaccination in the overall adult population.
  • Watch for signs of anxiety. While they may not be able to verbally express their worry, you may see other signs. They might be cranky, clingier, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted.
  • Keep reassuring your child and try to stick to your normal routines.
  • Monitor their media. Keep your younger children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media or on their computers. For your older children, talk together about what they’re seeing and correct any misinformation or rumors they may have heard.

Q. Do you have tips for working at home during the outbreak?
A. Give yourself some latitude when it comes to being productive. There’s a lot going on out there in the world and maintaining focus is more difficult than ever. So, don’t expect a perfect score on working from home – especially for those of us who are new to it. Keeping to a routine and an office mindset will help get you there.

COVID-19 and Baptist Health 

Q. Is Baptist Health participating in the COVID-19 vaccination initiative?

A. Yes. To learn more about the vaccines, including availability, click this link.

Q. Does Baptist Health have any confirmed or unconfirmed cases of COVID-19?
A. We can only share information about patients with COVID-19 that is publicly available. We can reassure you recommended precautions are being taken to protect patients and staff. Please refer to the Kentucky/Indiana Health Department or CDC for the latest information.

Q. Have any of your employees tested positive for COVID-19?
A. Because of our commitment to keeping personal health information private, we are not able to disclose that information. The safety of our patients is our highest priority.

Q. Are the maternity tours and other classes cancelled? When will classes resume?
A. Maternity tours and other classes are still happening virtually. To see a list of classes and events by location please visit our Classes and Events page

We are also excited to be able to provide online childbirth education classes to our moms-to-be during this time through our free maternity app. To register for the maternity app, please choose a location near you to get started. (Please note, the app is the same at each hospital location with tailored information respective to each one in addition to the full education library of content.)

La Grange
Please see Baptist Health social media pages and for the latest information.

Q. Are you offering elective surgeries?
Our hospitals are monitoring patient volumes daily and making decisions based on volumes and staffing.  

Q. Does the hospital have enough supplies?
A. We are conserving supplies and working with our vendors to ensure we have enough equipment and supplies to safely care for our patients. If you have commercial-grade masks that you would like to donate, please contact the Baptist Health Foundation.

Q. What extra hygiene/sanitation measures are being taken during the outbreak?
A. Baptist Health’s Environmental Services technicians complete daily terminal cleaning and will continue to complete terminal cleaning on every surface in both clinic and public spaces each day using anti-microbial disinfectant. Terminal cleaning includes removing all detachable objects in the room, cleaning lighting and air duct surfaces in the ceiling, and cleaning everything downward to the floor. Items removed from the room are disinfected or sanitized before being returned to the room.

Q. How can I get my medication refilled?
A. If you need a medication refill, please send a message to your provider through MyChart or call your Baptist Health pharmacy.

Q. Are there any plans to build makeshift hospital spaces?
A. We’re certainly prepared to deliver care up to the number of hospital beds that we operate, but additionally we are diligently and urgently making plans to expand beyond our bed capacity in order to do whatever is needed to take care of our communities during this unprecedented public health emergency. This includes converting all possible areas to be able to provide patient care – including additional critical care beds. With these changes we will be able to take care of more than our current operating beds, but are still in the process of determining what the ultimate capacity will be.

Q. Are there risks to other patients and visitors who have been at Baptist Health sites recently because of the confirmed cases?
A. Please be reassured recommended precautions are being taken to protect patients and staff. Baptist Health is working with the health department and in the event exposures are identified, Baptist and/or the health department will contact anyone who is identified to be at risk after coming into contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Q. What can I do to help?
A. Consider a donation to the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. Physicians, nurses and care providers who are putting themselves on the frontlines for our communities need your support. Help Baptist Health quickly disperse critical resources to our hospital and healthcare staff across Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Q. Should parents of newborns keep visitors away?
A. If you have a newborn at home, continue to follow all of your normal hygiene routines, breastfeed if possible and make sure the baby gets plenty of fresh air and sunlight. Avoid unnecessary visitors at this time to maintain quarantine and health in the home.