View up to date information on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or our HSHS COVID-19 page.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)


Your health is very important to us. We understand you may have concerns regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and we have gathered some important recommendations and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to serve as a resource for you.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. The CDC has provided the following:
  • For the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. There is not widespread circulation in most communities in the United States.
  • People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on the location.
  • Health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on location.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with those symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness.

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

When to seek medical attention
If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or thank you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

Do you have symptoms of COVID-19?

Call your health care provider if you develop symptomshave been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with a known presence of COVID-19. We ask that you first call us or utilize Prevea Virtual Care in advance so that we may assess your situation and decide the best course of action for you. If you need to be tested, we will help facilitate your test in a way that will expose you to the fewest other people possible.

You can access Prevea Virtual Care at without leaving your home. We’ve created a screening questionnaire based on CDC guidelines, and the screening for COVID-19 is currently offered at no charge through Prevea Virtual Care. Prevea patients may also call our 24/hour nurse line at (888) 277-3832 to speak with a registered nurse.

Preventative actions recommended by the CDC to help you prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, include:
  • Wash your hands. Wash hands often and with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Why? Respiratory droplets from viruses spread from person to person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, those close by can become infected. The virus can also be transmitted to hard surfaces such as countertops, doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons and other surfaces. If you touch those surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or moth, you could become infected.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in a close setting (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Get your home ready. As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Before a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community, the CDC recommends the following:
    • Create a household plan of action
    • Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions
    • Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed
    • Plan for potential changes at your workplace

Important things to remember about COVID-19:
  • 80 percent of people who do get coronavirus will not require hospitalization.
  • Illness burden of COVID-19 is heaviest on the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma. If you are young and healthy, your risk is very low of serious illness.
  • Preliminary information shows that tough we are using extreme precautions in caring for people with COVID-19 virus, transmission appears to be more similar to common cold viruses – i.e. spread by droplets, rather than airborne, like influenza.
  • Simple measures like frequent handwashing, maintaining distance of at least 6 feet from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, masking yourself if you are coughing or sneezing, disinfecting “touch points” at home and work like door knobs, phones and keyboards are very effective at reducing transmission of all respiratory viruses including COVID-19.
  • Avoid social interactions – please practice social isolation:
    • If your employer is offering you the opportunity to work from home; please work from home.
    • Avoid large gatherings of people.
  • If you are sick, please stay home. You should stay home and avoid contact with other people for at least 24 hours after your fever has subsided without the help of fever reducers.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19.
For more information on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), click here to see the FAQs.

*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-COV viruses.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)
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