Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 2/22/2021

General Information

Q: What is the coronavirus?
A: COVID-19 is a new coronavirus. While most who contract COVID-19 showcase mild symptoms, the virus can also cause severe illness and death, especially in the elderly or individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Q: How does the COVID-19 virus spread?
A: The virus is believed to spread via person-to-person contact for individuals who are physically near each other, or within 6 feet. Respiratory droplets, produced when an individual coughs, sneezes, talks or breathes, carry the virus and can cause infections when inhaled. Find more details on how the virus spreads here.

Q: What are the common symptoms of COVID-19?
A: COVID-19 patients showcase a wide range of symptoms 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Coughing
  • Fever or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Congestion
  • Nausea and vomiting or diarrhea

It’s important to note that some individuals who’ve contracted the virus will not showcase symptoms. If you believe you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, visit a local testing station and begin self-quarantining until you receive your results.


Q: How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
A: Everyone should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Keep your circle of contacts small to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • When you are around others, stay 6 feet apart and wear your mask.For people who are sick:
  • Stay home, in isolation. Don’t go to work or school. Get tested. Stay away from others.
    Get tested for COVID-19 (should be linked).
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, talk to your health care provider and stay home in isolation. Stay away from others. You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by notifying your close contacts that they have been exposed.
  • If your test result is negative, and your health care provider no longer suspects COVID-19, but you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you need to stay in quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Stay home. Stay away from others.
  • Keep sick household members away from others, in a separate room, if possible.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Anyone at high risk for complications should talk to their healthcare provider for more information.

Q: Is it safe to receive other medical care during this time?
A: It is important. Avoiding contact with others—like social distancing and only leaving home for essential trips—helps reduce your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. But if you delay getting the essential care or treatment you need, you may also be putting yourself at risk.

The pandemic shouldn’t prevent you from getting the care you need. If you don’t feel well, or if you know you’re overdue for ongoing specialty care, you should contact your doctor to talk about your options and the right timing for you.

Q: Someone in my home has COVID-19. What should I do?

  • Separate the person who is sick from other people in your home, if possible.
  • People in the household should stay separated from the person who is sick. If they must be around the person who is sick, they should wear a mask.
  • The person who is sick should.
  • Stay in a separate room and away from other people and pets.
  • Use a separate bathroom.
  • Wear a mask around others.
  • Be sure the person who is sick.
  • Covers their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Throws away used tissues in a lined trash can. Washes their hands often.
  • Do not prepare, serve, or assist in preparing or serving food to others.

Q: What should I do if I came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
A: If you believe you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, begin self-quarantining for 14 days, and locate your nearest testing station only if symptomatic.

Q: I was around someone who tested positive for COVID-19, but my test came back negative. Do I need to continue quarantining?
A: It is important to note, that if you were in contact with someone who had a positive case when you were tested you should remain in quarantine for the full 14 days even if your test comes back negative. This is because the incubation period for the virus can be up to 14 days and unless you were tested on the 14th day from your exposure, a negative test earlier in the quarantine period does not mean you are not infected.

Q: What should I do if I believe I have COVID-19?
A: Even though you don’t have symptoms, if your test comes back positive you should stay home and away from the public for at least 10 days from when you were tested. This is because you could spread the infection to others even if you don’t have symptoms.

If you were in contact with someone who had a positive case when you were tested, you can end isolation as soon as you have completed 10 days from the date of your test even if this is before your quarantine period is over, as long as you remain symptom-free.

Q: Where can I receive a COVID-19 test?
A: There are various testing sites throughout our community. Click here to find a testing location near you.

Q: If I test positive, how long should I quarantine?
A: At least 10 days after symptom onset or until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours and symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.


Q: When will I be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Ohio is using a phased vaccination schedule to determine who gets vaccinated first. Click here to learn when it will be your turn.

Q: Where can I receive my COVID-19 vaccine?
A: When it’s your turn to be vaccinated, you can schedule an appointment via Marion Public Health, Kroger, Meijer or OhioHealth.

Q: Where should I register to receive my vaccine?
A: To register for your COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Email us at
  • Visit or call 866-211-5320
  • Visit or call 740-389-5402
  • Visit or the OhioHealth app on iOS and Android.

Q: Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
A: All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. Systems that allow CDC to watch for safety issues are in place across the entire country.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to meet rigorous safety criteria and be effective as determined by data from the manufacturers and findings from large clinical trials. Watch a video describing the emergency use authorization. Clinical trials for all vaccines must first show they meet rigorous criteria for safety and effectiveness before any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine. Learn more about how federal partners are ensuring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

Q: How much does the vaccine cost?
A: Most organizations are providing the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost.

If you choose to receive your vaccine through OhioHealth, they will bill your insurance provider for the cost to administer the vaccine. They will not bill you for any balance, deductible, copay or coinsurance. If you do not have insurance, you will not be charged for the vaccine. OhioHealth will be submitting for reimbursement from the government through the CARES Act for uninsured individuals. Call the OhioHealth Price Line with questions at (614) 566.8707 or (toll free) (844) 393.1035.

Q: Do I still need to wear a mask after receiving the vaccine?
A: Yes. Once you receive your vaccine, you should continue to wear a facial covering over your mouth and nose, wash your hands often and social distance as fellow community members might not have received the vaccine yet.

Q: Why are there two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: The currently authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States require 2 shots to get the most protection:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
  • Moderna doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart.
  • You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However,  42 days is the maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.
  • Additional COVID-19 vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials. Learn more about the different COVID-19 vaccines.

Q: How effective is the vaccine in preventing someone from contracting the virus?
A: The vaccine offers immunity by activating antibodies to fight the virus in your immune system so that if you’re exposed, your body can fight the virus before you get sick. Although the vaccine is not expected to provide full immunity, it is the most effective way to avoid contracting COVID-19 or minimizing symptoms if you do contract COVID-19.

Q: Do I need to receive the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?
A: It is not known how long natural immunity from COVID-19 infection lasts. Because of the severe health risks of COVID-19, you may be advised to get a vaccine even if you’ve recovered from COVID-19.

Q: Do you need health insurance to receive the vaccine?
A: No, you do not need health insurance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: Are there enough COVID vaccines for everyone?
A: Manufacturing very large quantities of vaccine takes time. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine when large quantities are available for distribution.
CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have published recommendations for which groups should be vaccinated first to help guide decisions about how to distribute limited initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine.

CDC makes recommendations for who should be offered COVID-19 vaccine first, and each state has its own plan to prioritize, distribute, and allocate vaccines. Learn more about how CDC makes vaccine recommendations. As more vaccines are authorized for use in the United States and the supply of vaccines increases, several thousand vaccination locations will be available, such as doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers. Please contact your state health department for more information on its plan for COVID-19 vaccination.

Q: I have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Do I still need to quarantine if exposed to it?
A: Vaccinated individuals who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
are not required to quarantine, according to the CDC, if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They are fully vaccinated, meaning it was been at least two weeks following receipt of the second
    dose in a two-dose series, or at least two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose
    vaccine (if and when single-dose vaccines are authorized for emergency use in the U.S.).
  • They are within three months of receiving the last dose in the series. This aligns with the CDC’s
    updated quarantine guidance for individuals who have been infected with COVID-19 and have
    some natural immunity.
  • They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

Individuals who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine
guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. These guidelines may
change once more is known about both the duration of protection from vaccines, and the risk of
transmission from a vaccinated person, according to the CDC.

Fully vaccinated individuals who do not quarantine should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14
days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should be clinically evaluated for COVID19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, if indicated.

After vaccination, individuals should continue to protect themselves and others by wearing face coverings
over the mouth and nose when in public places or other peoples’ homes, staying at least 6 feet away from
other people, avoiding crowds and confined spaces, and washing your hands frequently.

Q: What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Minor side effects are an indication that your body is responding to the vaccine and building protection against COVID-19. The side effects may feel like cold or flu symptoms, and may even affect your ability to do daily activities, but should go away in a few days.

Q: Is the vaccine mandatory?
A: The federal government does not mandate (require) vaccination for individuals. For some healthcare workers or essential employees, a state or local government or employer, for example, may require or mandate that workers be vaccinated as a matter of state or other law. Check with your employer to see if they have any rules that apply to you.

Q: What about the second dose?
A: Your healthcare provider will provide further instructions on how to receive your second dose.



Ohio Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention