Did the COVID-19 pandemic age your skin?
Now that we’re emerging from many long months at home, you may be feeling self-conscious about the face you’re presenting to the world.
We know you have lots of questions and uncertainty surrounding the global COVID-19 outbreak. That’s why, as a trusted academic health center, we’re providing fact-based information, reliable data and the latest, evidence-based recommendations.
We've created a dedicated page to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including eligibility, how to schedule your appointment, what to know about side effects and more.
If you’ve been exposed to someone but aren’t sure they have a confirmed case…
If you’ve been exposed to someone who has a confirmed case…
Those in quarantine should try to keep 6 to 10 feet of distance between themselves and another person, and avoid prolonged contact while in an enclosed space. They should also:
As the CDC explains: “Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.”
Recent studies suggest that a significant number of people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms, and those who do develop symptoms spread germs before the symptoms appear. In light of this evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that people wear face masks in addition to practicing social distancing. (Here are the CDC instructions on how to make and wear a cloth mask.)
In general, practicing routine hygiene etiquette is the best way to prevent the spread of infection:
If you’re seriously ill, seek medical advice from a doctor or emergency department.
Based on current CDC guidance, person-to-person spread most likely occurs through respiratory droplets between people in close proximity, similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses.
We have two types of COVID-19 tests readily available right now. One is an antigen test, and the other is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
An antigen test looks for particular proteins that exist on the surface of the virus. Its results can be read quickly—usually within minutes—but it can miss some details and is therefore less accurate, and it could produce a “false positive” result.
A PCR test provides additional details, including looking at a small amount of genetic material such as RNA. It can detect very small amounts of the virus, and tests are very specific for COVID-19 versus any other type of coronavirus. Because a PCR test requires specialized equipment and highly trained laboratory professionals to monitor the process, it’s slower and more expensive.
Generally, if a health care provider has ordered a COVID-19 test for you, you’ll be receiving the more accurate PCR test.
As we learn more about COVID-19, antigen tests can become more accurate. Both types of tests are important tools, but it’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each.
A flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, but it can significantly reduce the likelihood that you or anyone you come into contact with would get both the flu and COVID-19.
A flu shot is recommended for most people even when COVID-19 isn’t a threat, but during a pandemic, getting your flu shot is more important than ever (learn more here).
For more information about the flu vaccine’s ingredients and other common questions about the flu shot, visit our blog here.
Masks do not harm oxygen levels, and they're currently our best defense against the spread of COVID-19.
This could depend on the reason for the appointment, and it’s best to check with your doctor to weigh any potential risks of missing an appointment. However, in general, it’s best to continue with routine appointments—especially cancer screenings, such as colonoscopies, endoscopies and mammograms—because many serious diseases have much better outcomes when they’re caught early.
Medical professionals screen for cancer and chronic disease, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes, because they can progress to serious complications when left untreated. Early detection helps patients and their health care providers become better partners on a treatment plan.
No. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to reduce the amount of time we’re in contact with others—and that means re-evaluating how we celebrate holidays. The safest way to approach your holiday celebration is to limit in-person gatherings to your own household, connecting with family and friends only virtually. And when it comes to holiday shopping, buying online is the safest way to avoid crowds.
The most important thing about a mask is that it fits you well—it needs to cover both your nose and mouth and stay affixed while you’re talking and going about your business. It’s important that it works for you, stays in place, and doesn’t irritate your skin or ears.
It’s also best to use a mask that’s thick enough or has enough layers that you can’t see light through it easily when you hold it up to sunlight.
We caution against masks like thin-material neck gaiters, which studies now show can not only allow respiratory droplets through the material, but can fracture those droplets into smaller, aerosolized droplets that remain in the air longer.
The circumstances around COVID-19 have changed constantly because what we know continues to evolve. As scientists continue to study how COVID-19 droplets travel, how long the virus lives on various surfaces, how long it takes between exposure and symptoms, etc., their findings inform what medical experts recommend. For example, there is mounting evidence that face masks are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19, both for the wearer and for others around them.
We’re getting better and better at knowing what we’re up against when it comes to the COVID-19 virus.
The best way to keep up with changing guidelines is to pay attention to what’s coming out from reliable sources. Be cautious with what you read on social media, and treat all information with some scrutiny.
Older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms.
Other groups typically at higher risk of infectious disease, such as pregnant women and young children, aren’t currently considered high risk.
The CDC continues to update recommendations for immunocompromised individuals and those at higher risk for severe COVID-19.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and CARES Act requires that certain services and items related to COVID-19 testing are available at no cost to the patient.
For ongoing health care needs, below are options for the recently unemployed who no longer have employer insurance coverage:
Please also note that some of your care may be completed via telehealth. As of 4/1/2020 the following insurance plans pay for video visits: Aetna, Anthem, Buckeye, CareSource, Cigna Behavioral Health, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina, OSU Health Plan, Paramount, United Behavioral Health, United Health Care, Medicare and all the Medicaid insurance plans. Cigna Medical is not currently covering video visits. You are responsible for your insurance plan co-pay. If you are unsure of your coverage, contact your insurance plan.