Information About COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can cause a variety of symptoms in human beings ranging from mild to fatal. This virus is currently considered a pandemic and has spread rapidly throughout the world, including Virginia and Charlottesville. Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be respiratory like a cold (runny nose, cough, sore throat, low grade fever) or gastrointestinal like a stomach flu (particularly diarrhea). Adults over the age of 60 years and those with underlying illnesses are at greater risk for more severe disease. The typical onset between exposure and symptoms averages 5 days (the range is from 2-14 days), and the typical onset between exposure and severe illness appears to be averaging about 11 days. COVID-19 spreads easily and rapidly between people via respiratory droplets, even from those who don’t yet have symptoms or those who never develop any symptoms. The droplets can infect people directly, or be transferred to hands or hard surfaces, from which the virus can survive and infect other people for up to 72 hours. Because asymptomatic people can spread the virus to others quickly and efficiently it is critical to practice social distancing and masking to reduce the chances of spreading the virus.

Symptoms and Symptom Management

Stay At Home and Wear Masks

The single most important thing you can to do protect yourself and our community from the spread of COVID is to STAY HOME whenever possible and to WEAR MASKS when ever you are in public places.  As of 8/1/20, it is now mandatory to wear face coverings in both indoor and outdoor public settings where it is not possible to manage the minimum social distance of 6 feet. It is safest for yourself and our community to simply wear masks when you are in public, regardless of the circumstance. 

Minimize Exposure Risk

What About Testing?

There are two types of testing available, antigen/PCR testing and antibody testing. Antigen/PCR testing obtained by a nasal or nasopharygneal swab can tell you if you are actively infected with the virus. Antibody testing is a blood test that tells you if you have been exposed to a coronavirus, of which SARS-CoV-2 is one, in the past.

Antigen/PCR testing is available at the following sites.

Antibody testing can be ordered by Dr. Hargrove. She will provide you with a lab order to bring to Northridge or Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital’s main lab. The usefulness of antibody testing is not clear for the following reasons:

You can read about guidelines for testing here.

Reliable Sources of Information

There are many brilliant people actively working to address the current pandemic. It is critical that you get inform yourself from reliable sources. I recommend:

Skip to content