COVID-19: Coronavirus FAQs

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.  There are many common coronaviruses that circulate among humans and cause mild illnesses like the common cold.


What is the source of COVID-19?

It is suspected that an animal coronavirus originating in bats emerged, infected people, and is now being spread person to person.  The outbreak originated in Wuhan, China and has a link to seafood and live animal markets.


How is COVID-19 being spread?

Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. There are also areas of “community spread” where people have become infected when it is not known how or where they became infected. The current understanding is that COVID-19 is spread by droplets expelled when a person coughs, sneezes or talks, that are then inhaled by another person. 


What are some ways I can protect myself and others?

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others who do not live in your household.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Perform diligent hand hygiene especially after using the restroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Adopt “social distancing” practices. This means avoiding large crowds, not hand shaking, maintaining a distance of about 6 feet, etc. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Current symptoms reported by patients with COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  This illness can progress to a severe illness.


Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults, and people who have chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.  The CDC advises that individuals who are high risk should take everyday precautions to keep space between themselves and others, keep away from other who are sick, wash hands, avoid crowds and avoid non-essential travel.  Those at high risk should strongly consider staying home as much as possible but should not delay getting medical care for underlying medical conditions or emergency medical treatment.


Who should be tested for COVID-19?

Individuals should contact their primary healthcare professional if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. The healthcare professional will determine if testing for COVID-19 is indicated. Individuals can also contact their local public health department for guidance at the numbers provided below.


Brown County, WI920-448-6400

Door County, WI920-746-2234

Manitowoc County, WI920-683-4155

Marinette County, WI715-732-7670

Oconto County, WI920-832-5100

Outagamie County, WI920-832-5100

Winnebago County, WI920-232-3000

Calumet County, WI920-849-1432

Delta County, MI906-786-4111

Menominee County, MI906-863-4451


What is the cost for COVID-19 testing?


Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

A negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.

If the sample was collected while a person had symptoms, a negative result likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.


When can individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 be released from isolation?

Current CDC guidance on when an infected individual can be released from isolation can be found here:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Quarantine and Isolation


How many people in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with COVID-19?

As the number of cases is rapidly changing, please check the following webpage to see the most up to date information:

Wisconsin Department of Health Services: Outbreaks in Wisconsin


Should I travel during COVID-19?

The CDC has released guidance for those considering travel. Please check the following webpage to see the most up to date information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Coronavirus Travel Information


What is BayCare Clinic doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation. BayCare Clinic is actively monitoring CDC’s and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ recommendations surrounding COVID-19.  In response to these recommendations, BayCare Clinic has developed pathways to help triage and manage patients who may call the clinics or present to the clinics with symptoms of COVID-19.  For your safety and the safety of others, we may postpone your appointment or procedure, if your visit is non-urgent. We may also ask you to attend your visit alone unless you need assistance during your appointment.


BayCare Clinic has adopted universal masking of patients and visitors within our facilities. We ask that if you have a mask you please wear this when entering our facilities. If you do not have a mask, you will be provided with one when you arrive. We ask that you wear this mask at all times until you have exited the building, unless otherwise directed by a provider.


During your visit you will be asked to social distance and maintain 6 feet from others within our clinics including in our waiting rooms and when checking in.  Our clinics have put measures in place to help you maintain this distance and help ensure your safety during your visit. In addition, BayCare Clinic has always performed rigorous cleaning and disinfection practices, but during this time we have increased our frequency of cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces and objects.


What are some reputable sites where I can find more information?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Home Page

Wisconsin Department of Health Services: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Home Page


Dr. Ashwani Bhatia answers your COVID-19 vaccine questions

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines in this video with Dr. Ashwani Bhatia, chief medical officer of BayCare Clinic. Dr. Bhatia recently participated in a Facebook LIVE discussion detailing the history of vaccines, why they have historically been effective and what the new COVID-19 vaccines mean for Wisconsin’s battle against the virus.