Coronavirus Basics and Prevention

Learn basic information about the coronavirus as well as tips for preventing the spread of the disease.

What is the Novel Coronavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Opens a new window or tab Opens a new window or tab (CDC), the novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. COVID-19 symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent the Spread of the Virus?

The best way to prevent the illness Opens a new window or tab Opens a new window or tab is to avoid exposure in the following ways:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, which you should discard in the trash.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Use an approved telehealth option or see your doctor if you think you are ill.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What Should I Do if I Think I or a Family Member is Infected?

Currently, there is not a vaccine for COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms similar to a common cold or flu and think you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your primary care physician or our telehealth partner, MDLIVE®, by signing in to your secure member portal or the Optima Health mobile app.

To meet the growing need within our communities, Sentara Healthcare is providing screening and testing Opens a new window or tab for those who are concerned they may have coronavirus (COVID-19). The scheduling for testing is based on the availability of testing kits. Please check back often for status updates.

Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

Person washing their hands

Learn how you can help protect yourself and others by limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

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