Are public health workers in high-risk situations during screening?

They are not. Screening is not the same as testing, the University of Virginia Medical Center states. Screening is a series of questions used to identify people who may be at risk for developing COVID-19, and testing determines whether a person has COVID-19.

“Often times, screening can happen over the phone to determine if the individual meets qualifications to be tested,” said Kathryn Goodman, spokeswoman for the Thomas Jefferson Health District.

CDC healthcare guidance is here.

How long does COVID-19 live on surfaces?

According to a recent study, the virus is viable for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel. Clean and sanitize rooms and bathrooms ill people use and also clean and sanitize heavily used surfaces such as phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.

Are foods and drinks at risk?

No. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that there is no evidence that food, food packaging or handling can transmit the virus. Anyone preparing, handling or serving food should follow safe food handling procedures.

If you are sick, should you get tested or stay home? When should you call your doctor?

The CDC suggests that anyone who is mildly ill, is under 60 and has no other health issues should recover at home and not leave for 14 days except to get medical care. Stay in touch with your doctor, call before you get medical care and seek care if you feel worse or think it’s an emergency.  Wear a face mask if you are sick. If you are unable to wear one, caregivers should wear a mask.

What types of pre-existing medical conditions make people most susceptible to serious complications? 

According to the CDC, people who are higher risk of getting very sick are older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

How long does it take to get results?

It can take between four and seven days to get back test results from. If you suspect you have the illness and are tested, isolate yourself while awaiting results, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

“Each lab is different,” Goodwin said. “This varies and is changing daily. When a lab report is complete, it is sent to VDH/TJHD electronically and is handled accordingly.”

Why is there a lag between case announcements and the updating of the health department page?

The VDH website is updated daily at noon, so some cases that are reported early in the morning may not make the cut for their updates. Although it is a quick dashboard, the most accurate morning numbers will come at the governor’s 11 a.m. briefing/the noon update and news releases throughout the day, officials said.



This article will be updated.