COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) are aggressively responding to the outbreak of novel coronavirus / COVID-19. Along with other Ohio hospitals, Mercy Medical Center is following all CDC and ODH recommendations and will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19, please call the ODH Hotline at 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).

Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19 FAQs

What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus / COVID-19?

The symptoms of a mild case of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People with mild symptoms can recover at home. If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and develop mild symptoms, call your health care provider.

Emergency warning signs necessitating immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face.

Think you’re sick? Click here.

How does the coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. You can come into contact with these droplets if you are within six feet of someone who is contagious. In addition, if you touch a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touch your face (particularly mouth, nose or eyes), you may get COVID-19.

How can I prevent coronavirus / COVID-19?

The best ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus including:

  • Social / physical distancing.
  • Stay home. If you must go out, keep six feet of distance between yourself and other people.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with throw-away tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, director of health for the Ohio Department of Health, explains proper hand washing in this video.

Is the coronavirus / COVID-19 deadly?

Most people who contract COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Certain people are at higher risk for severe illness, including those with serious underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. Learn more about high-risk groups from the CDC.

Is coronavirus / COVID-19 treatable?

Currently there is no FDA-approved medication for COVID-19. If you contract COVID-19, rest, drink lots of fluids, and take over-the-counter medication to control the fever. Learn more about 10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home.

How long can the coronavirus live on surfaces?

A new study looked at the novel coronavirus in a lab setting and found it can survive 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic surfaces, and on cardboard 24 hours. If a person infected with coronavirus sneezes or coughs out bits of virus onto a doorknob or handrail and then you touch that, you could become infected.

To help prevent transmission, keep surfaces clean by:

  • Wiping correctly. Use ammonia or alcohol-based products. Skip the baby wipes.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer. Just make sure it’s at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Your smartphone is like a third hand. Wipe it down.

What’s the best way to talk to my kids about COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming for parents and concerning to kids. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton recommends parents and others who work with kids to talk about COVID-19 with kids in a way that children will understand.

  • Remind kids that doctors and health care workers are learning as much as they can about the virus and are doing what they can to keep everyone safe.
  • Reassure children that they are safe. Let them know it is okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope.
  • Reinforce with kids the importance of washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue, and getting enough sleep.
  • Inform kids of COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • Strive to reduce panic.
  • Limit your child’s exposure to media coverage of the event. Keep young children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media, computers, etc. For older kids, talk together about what they are hearing on the news and correct any misinformation or rumors you may hear.
  • Set a good example by showing empathy and support to those who are ill.
  • Help your child to have a sense of structure upon returning to school.
  • Connect with friends and family members over electronic communications.

To learn more about novel coronavirus / COVID-19, please visit the Ohio Department of Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.