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What to know about COVID-19

As the COVID-19 situation changes, we want to ensure you get the care you need, when you need it. On this page, you can learn more about the virus, including tips to help you stay as healthy as possible. You can also find info on where to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Protect yourself from scams

 

Take steps to avoid COVID-19 scams. Don’t respond if you get a call, text or email about “free” COVID-19 testing. And never give out your member ID number or personal info. To report any scams, you can go online or call 1-800-447-8477. You can also call Member Services at 1-855-242-0802 (TTY: 711). We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Get the COVID Defense app 

 

This simple app can let you know when you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Once it detects exposure, you get an alert sent right to your phone. The app is safe, private and easy to use. See how the app works (PDF).

 

COVID Defense app

Get your vaccine 

 

Even if you feel healthy, are careful or haven't gotten COVID-19, you’ll want to get the vaccine when it's your turn. This can protect you, your family, friends and community in the long run.

 

In Louisiana, everyone who is age 16 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Have questions about the vaccine? You can visit the Louisiana Department of Health website for more info.

 

You can also talk with your primary care provider (PCP) if you have concerns. Remember to keep wearing your mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

 

Find vaccine locations

COVID-19 vaccine FAQs

 

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

 

The government approved the vaccine under its Emergency Use Authorization. The vaccine went through careful testing for safety and effectiveness. It’s safe to use. 

 

Am I covered for the COVID-19 vaccine?

 

Yes, you’re covered for the COVID-19 vaccine. You can get the vaccine at no extra cost.

 

How do I register to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

 

You can visit the state website to find vaccine locations near you. Once you find a site, you can make an appointment. 

COVID-19 general FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about COVID-19. 

 

We rely on info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This info doesn’t replace your provider’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk with your PCP or other health care provider.

A coronavirus causes COVID-19, an illness that affects the lungs. You can check out this quick fact sheet (PDF) to learn more.

The symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

 

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever 

  • Cough

  • Trouble breathing 

 

More severe cases of the virus can cause:

 

  • Pneumonia

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

  • Kidney failure 

 

You have a higher risk of getting the virus if you:

 

  • Have heart or lung disease

  • Have a weakened immune system

  • Are an infant or older adult

It can spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. It also spreads through close contact, from person to person. 

 

In some cases, a person may get infected by touching a surface that has the virus on it, and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth.

 

Learn more about how COVID-19 spreads

You can lower your risk of getting the virus by:

 

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

  • Keeping six feet away from people who don’t live in your home

  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

  • Staying home if you are sick or have cold-like symptoms

  • Cleaning your workstation and phone before and after using them, especially if you share them with other employees

Most people with non-severe COVID-19 symptoms will get better on their own. These tips can help ease the symptoms if you’re mildly sick:

 

  • Take pain and fever medicine. Ask your pharmacist how this may affect other medicines you take. 

  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower.

  • Drink plenty of liquids.

  • Stay home and rest.

 

Caution: The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise not giving aspirin to children.

No, these shots don’t lower your risk of getting COVID-19. You’ll want to get shots for other lung infections, like flu, pneumonia and whooping cough. You should do this if you have:

 

  • A weakened immune system

  • A more serious illness

  • A history of getting shots that help prevent illness

Getting your other shots doesn’t just improve your health. It also lowers the burden on health care providers. And lets them focus on COVID-19 right now.

The CDC recommends testing anyone who:

 

  • Shows symptoms of COVID-19 after visiting a CDC “Level 2” or “Level 3” advisory area

  • Has had contact with someone who has or may have COVID-19

Yes, you’re covered for COVID-19 testing. There are no copays and you don’t need PA to get tested. 

You can get COVID-19 testing at community testing sites. These are open to all Louisiana residents, including people who aren’t showing symptoms. People with no symptoms will need to contact their provider before testing. People who are at higher risk for the virus should get testing before anyone else. This includes:

 

  • Health care workers

  • First responders

  • People living in group settings

  • Older adults 

  • Anyone who has been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19

Each testing site works on a schedule and has certain rules. Be sure to check with that site before visiting, as you may be turned away.

 

Find testing site locations and hours

Extra support

 

We know it's a tough time and you may have a lot of questions. Here are some other ways you can get support during COVID-19. 

Using telehealth services, you can get care from the comfort and safety of home. You can meet with a provider via video chat or phone with no copay. If your provider doesn’t offer these services, we can help find you one that does. Just call Member Services at 1-855-242-0802 (TTY: 711).

You can still get routine care during COVID-19. Here’s how:

 

  • Call before visiting a provider’s office.

    You’ll want to call your PCP or other health care provider before you go there. They’ll share info about how they’re treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also check with your provider to see if they’re offering care with telehealth services.

  • Get answers to your questions at any time. 

    Need a quick answer to a health question? The 24-Hour Nurse Line is here for you. If your concern can’t wait until you can see your provider, call 1-855-242-0802 (TTY: 711) anytime. And we’ll connect you with a nurse. 

  • Get help with a dental emergency.
    If your provider’s office is closed or you don’t have a provider, you can call:
     

    • DentaQuest (for adults and children under 21): 1-800-685-0143 (TTY: 1-800-466-7566), Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM

    • Managed Care of North America (MCNA) Dental (for children under 21): 1-855-702-6262, Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM

    They’ll help you find a provider. If you’re out of town and need emergency dental care, you can see any dentist for care. You don’t need a referral or prior approval to get emergency dental care.

  • Know when to go to the emergency room (ER) versus urgent care.

    If you’re having an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. If it’s not an emergency, but you need medical advice, call us at 1-855-242-0802 (TTY: 711). The 24-Hour Nurse Line can help you decide if you need to go to the ER or urgent care. You can read about getting the right care at the right time.

You should be able to meet your health care needs, even during COVID-19. To help make it easier, you can now: 

 

  • Get up to 90 days’ worth of supplies to treat your health needs. 

  • Get care from your home through telehealth services. See and talk with your provider by video chat or phone.

  • Connect with a care manager who can help you get services and update your care plan as needed.