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What to know about COVID-19

We’re watching the COVID-19 outbreak closely. We rely on info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). You can learn more about:


  • The virus and tips to help you stay healthy 

  • What we’re doing to protect the health and safety of our members and employees

This content doesn’t replace your doctor’s advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk with your doctor or other health care provider. 


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

COVID-19 is short for “coronavirus disease 2019.” The virus that causes COVID-19 affects your nose, throat and lungs. It spreads through the air. And you can get infected by touching or getting too close to someone who has the virus. COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China, and has spread to the United States. It has infected and killed many people worldwide. You can learn more about:


Getting care during the pandemic


Infection statistics


Planning a trip to China


The symptoms of COVID-19 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 COVID-19 if you:


  • Have heart or lung disease

  • Have a weakened immune system

  • Are an infant or older adult

The best way to protect yourself and your family is to stay up to date on the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. The COVID-19 vaccine and boosters are safe and available for most people over the age of 6 months. People who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines have a lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.


In addition to getting the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters, you may be able to lower your risk of getting it by:


  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds 
  • 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 common COVID-19 will get better on their own. We have no treatments for the virus. But 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 against 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

  • Shots that help prevent illness

Doing these things 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 is suspected to have or has had COVID-19

We’ll handle claims in the same way we always have, but there may be some COVID-19 related changes. We’ll code and pay a claim even if your COVID-19 test results are negative.

Our goal is to provide care to members in the best ways possible. We’re working with both in-network and out-of-network providers. As we think about network status, we have to consider a lot of different things, like: 


  • Geographic areas 

  • The amount of people seeking services 

  • The number of available appointments 

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