Frequently Asked Questions
Answers To Your Common Questions About COVID-19
Click on the questions for detailed answers on coronavirus and COVID-19. If the information you need is not on found on this page, call our hotline at 866-941-4785 for assistance.
How can I support Baptist patients and employees?
You can support our health care workers and patients by following the recommendations of the President’s office to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Listen to and follow the directions of state and local governments.
If you feel sick, stay at home.
If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire family at home.
If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
If you have a serious underlying health condition, stay home and away from people.
Work or engage in schooling from home.
Avoid social gatherings.
Use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options for dining.
Avoid nonessential travel, shopping trips and social visits.
Do not visit nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
And remember to practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
If you have the means and are called to contribute financial support, please consider donating to Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation’s COVID-19 Assistance Fund.
If you or your group wish to contribute homemade masks, personal protective equipment or food for our health care workers, please fill out our In-Kind Donation form or call the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation at 901-227-7123. A representative from the Foundation will contact you soon.
We are so very grateful for the many offers of support by those in our community who want to stand up and be counted. Our dedicated doctors, nurses, caregivers and technicians have been working tirelessly, and the outpouring of support from our community has been inspirational for them.
Thank you for your generosity.
How can I/my church/my community group donate masks that we’ve made to your hospital?
If you would like to support Baptist with an in-kind donation, such as homemade facemasks, personal protective equipment, or food for our health care workers, please fill out our In-Kind Donation form or call the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation at 901-227-7123. A representative from the Foundation will contact you soon. Thank you.
I have recovered from COVID-19. How can I donate my plasma?
Plasma donated by COVID-19 survivors has been used to treat patients currently sick with this virus. Have you been recently exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19? There are a few things to know before donating your plasma and whether you are eligible to do so.
Donors must meet the following criteria:
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must provide documented confirmation of a positive COVID-19 test result.
- Must be asymptomatic, or free of flu-like symptoms, for 14 days prior to donation.
Interested individuals meeting these criteria must undergo a swab test and blood test to see if they have developed the appropriate antibodies. If these screens indicate you are a potential donor, you will be sent to a local blood donation center for further screening and plasma collection.
Antibodies are usually present in recovered individuals up to 18 months after contracting COVID-19.
If you are interested in donating plasma, please call Baptist’s Coronavirus Resource Center hotline at 866-941-4785.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are large families of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In 2019, a new coronavirus – called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – was identified as the cause of disease outbreak in China. This virus causes the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
What are the symptoms?
Coronavirus causes COVID-19, a flu-like illness whose symptoms include:
- Fever of 100.4° or greater
- Muscle & body aches and fatigue
- Difficulty breathing
If you have difficulty breathing, please call 9-1-1 or call your local emergency department.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms and were recently exposed to COVID-19, click here.
Is there a vaccine or cure for COVID-19?
There is no known cure for COVID-19, however most individuals develop mild to moderate symptoms before recovering. Elderly people, individuals with compromised immune systems, patients with heart disease or liver disease, and patients receiving immuno-suppressant therapies are at a higher risk of contracting the virus and developing more serious medical complications.
Medical scientists are working on developing a vaccine for COVID-19, but most experts say a vaccine is one year to 18-months away.
Who is most at risk of developing serious illness due to COVID-19?
For most individuals who contract COVID-19, the symptoms will be mild and moderate. Symptoms can be more pronounced and become severe for people who are age 60 or older, have a compromised immune system, and patients of any age with an underlying health issue such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.
How is COVID-19 spread?
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet for at least 10 minutes).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. They also can land on surfaces and live for several hours, so please wash your hands before touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.
Elderly people, individuals with compromised immune systems, patients with heart disease or liver disease, and patients receiving immuno-suppressant therapies are at a higher risk of contracting the virus and developing more serious medical complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
Are younger people less likely to become ill by the coronavirus?
When it comes to COVID-19, age does not matter. While older people and individuals with underlying health conditions are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19, young adults and children are also very susceptible as they more inclined to ignore social distancing criteria and engage in riskier behavior. Everyone, regardless of age, should adhere to “shelter in place” and “stay at home” orders from state and local officials – and practice social distancing and good hand hygiene – to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and lessen the possibility of becoming infected themselves.
What can I do to prepare for an outbreak in my area?
- Check your prescription drugs to ensure you have a continuous supply in your home.
- Have non-prescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes and vitamins.
- Check your electronic health records, like your MyChart account, and store a printed version for personal reference.
- Check in with your friends and family members regularly.
- Prepare a household plan
If you develop COVID-19 and are quarantined, you will need a two-week supply of food and possibly water.
What should I do if I think I have contracted Coronavirus?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and you’ve possibly been exposed to coronavirus, contact your doctor or your health care facility of choice right away.
If you have mild to moderate symptoms, call your doctor. Please DO NOT go to a doctor’s office for testing or treatment unless your doctor has instructed you to do so. If you don’t have a doctor, call 866-941-4785.
If you have more severe symptoms and need to go to the hospital, please call the facility and report symptoms, recent travel and possible exposure BEFORE going there.
You may also want to have an on-demand video visit or e-visit instead of an office visit. If you have a MyChart account, you don’t have to leave your home to be examined by a health care professional and get a prescription. On-demand video visits and e-visits are great options if you don’t feel well enough to get to your doctor’s office, don’t want to risk exposure to other sick patients, or are concerned about being exposed to sick patients.
While there is no up-front cost for E-Visit or Video Visit, your session will be filed with your insurance and you may be responsible for any balance due.
Can coronavirus or COVID-19 be spread through food?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food, however it is possible for the packaging the food comes in to be contaminated.
When you get home from the store, be sure to clean cans and jars with a disinfecting wipe before storing or opening them, remove bagged contents from cardboard boxes (breakfast cereals, snacks, pasta, etc.) and throw away the boxes, wash and dry produce thoroughly, and use a disinfecting wipe on juice bottles, milk jugs and other plastic containers.
Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Clean your countertops and cabinets regularly. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
What can I do to avoid contracting COVID-19?
The best way to prevent illness is to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene so you can avoid being exposed to COVID-19.
Practice social distancing as a way to limit your contact with other people. Social distancing means remaining out of large crowds, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others when possible.
Good hand hygiene
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
Other important ways you can prevent illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid covering your coughs and sneezes with your hands. Instead, cover them with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands, or cough or sneeze into your upper arm.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Should I wear a facemask?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Cloth face coverings should:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Cloth 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.
Homemade cloth face coverings should be routinely washed in washing machine with warm or hot water and regular detergent.
Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your face covering and wash your hands immediately after removing.
For more information on the proper use and maintenance of cloth face coverings, visit the CDC website.
Is it OK to travel?