Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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If You Believe You Have 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 these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your primary care physician immediately to learn about testing options. A doctor’s order is required to be tested in Boone County. 

If you do not have a primary care doctor you can schedule a virtual visit through a local hospital system to be evaluated for COVID-19, or visit an Urgent Care or Emergency Room. Please call the emergency room, urgent care facility or doctor’s office before visiting in person.  If none of these testing options are available for you, please email the Health Department at coronavirus@como.govcreate new email.

Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 877.435.8411 for further questions regarding COVID-19 testing.

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Local Testing for COVID-19

As part of an ongoing community effort to offer testing for COVID-19, MU Health Care and Boone Hospital Center provide drive-thru testing. A doctor’s order is required to be tested in Boone County. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with a known case of COVID-19, please contact your primary care physician immediately to learn about testing options. 

If you do not have a primary care doctor you can schedule a virtual visit through a local hospital system to be evaluated for COVID-19, or visit an Urgent Care or Emergency Room. Please call the emergency room, urgent care facility or doctor’s office before visiting in person.  If none of these testing options are available for you, please email the Health Department at coronavirus@como.govcreate new email.

MU Health Care will offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing for patients with physician orders. The drive-thru testing is available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Saturday at Mizzou North building at 115 Business Loop 70 W.

Boone Hospital Center is offering testing from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday at the Doctor’s Building, 1504 E. Broadway. The drive-thru is offered for those who have been screened by a health professional and receive an order.

Boone County Hospital Test Reporting

MU Healthcare Test Reporting

If You Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

You will likely learn of your positive result from your health care provider or lab before hearing from PHHS. Begin isolating immediately as to not further expose anyone else to the virus. You can still spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms.

  • You must restrict activities and limit all movements that may put you in contact with others during the isolation period. This means staying home. Do not go to work, school, church, the gym, grocery store, friend’s or family’s homes, etc.
  • Arrange for food and other necessities to be delivered and left at your door. If you cannot make arrangements for someone to assist you, please call 211.
  • There is no specific treatment for the virus that causes COVID-19, but we recommend you rest, drink plenty of fluids and take acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.
  • Seek prompt medical care if you begin to experience severe symptoms.

Please begin making a list of those you were in close contact with. This will help PHHS notify them quickly, so they reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

  • People in your house, your intimate partners, and caregivers as well as people who were within 6 feet of you for a cumulative 15 minutes are considered to be “close contacts.”
  • Because these close contacts have been exposed, it is possible that they could test positive for COVID-19. They should self-quarantine even if they feel well because it can take up to 14 days for them to show symptoms.

For more information about what to do if you have tested positive for COVID-19, please watch this video.

If You Have Been Identified as a Close Contact

If an individual who has tested positive identifies you as a close contact, you will be contacted by the local health department from which that positive individual resides. Due to the increase in positive cases in Boone County, the expected wait time for contacts of cases to be notified is now 3-5 days. If you do not hear from our contact tracers, you were not identified as a close contact.

When someone tests positive, their close contacts are only traced back two days prior to their onset symptoms or two day prior to their test date, if asymptomatic. When a contact tracer contacts close contacts, they will assess for symptoms and provide education and information for testing options and properly quarantining. Testing is only recommended if someone is a confirmed close contact or they are experiencing symptoms.   

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have not yet been contacted by PHHS, please immediately begin to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

  • The 14-day quarantine period starts on the last day you were within close contact with the person who tested positive for COVID.
  • During this quarantine time, you should not go to work, school, church, the gym, grocery store, friend’s or family’s homes, etc.
  • Quarantine is still necessary even if you had close contact with the infectious person while wearing a face mask.

It is recommended that all close contacts of a positive case be tested for COVID-19 once between days 7 and 9 of the quarantine period.

  • Testing too soon after exposure could result in a false negative result.
  • As a contact you should remain quarantined for the entire 14 days, even if you have tested negative, as you can become infectious at any time during the incubation period.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms anytime during your quarantine period.

For more information about what to do if you have been identified as a close contact, please watch this video.

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

Please seek prompt medical care if you experience serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, dehydration or confusion. People with life-threatening symptoms should call 911 and tell dispatch personnel that you have, or have been exposed to, COVID-19.

If it’s not urgent and you are experiencing mild symptoms, call ahead before visiting your doctor. You may be able to get advice over the phone or through a virtual visit. 

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”). Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

A person with COVID-19 can be contagious if they are symptomatic or asymptomatic

  • Many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.

COVID-19 is a new virus and health professionals are still learning more about it. At this time, it is believed that someone becomes infectious with the virus two days before they begin to show symptoms. If someone tests positive but does not have symptoms, they are considered infectious two days before being tested. 

A person with COVID-19 can be contagious if they are symptomatic or asymptomatic

  • Many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.

There is currently no vaccine or preventive products to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. To protect against and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, PHHS recommends:  

  • Social distancing from others outside of your household.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Wearing a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
    • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
    • Wash your hands often 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% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

    There is no specific treatment recommended for COVID-19. Individuals with COVD-19 should receive supportive care from their primary care physician to help alleviate symptoms. Those who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.

    Isolation and quarantine are both used to protect the public by preventing exposure to people who are sick or who may become sick.

    • “Isolation” refers to separating a sick person from others.
    • “Quarantine” refers to separating people who are not sick, but may have been exposed to an illness, from others.
    I’m in IsolationI’m in Quarantine
    • I have tested positive for COVID-19
    • I may or may not have symptoms
    • I am contagious
    • I will isolate for at least 10 days
    • I have been in close contact (within 6ft for more than 15 minutes) with someone who was contagious
    • I may or may not be infected
    • I could be contagious and not know it
    • I will stay in quarantine for 14 days