COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is COVID-19? How does it spread?

COVID-19 in a novel (new) coronavirus that has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). It is currently in the United States and many other countries, after originating in China. Health experts are concerned because this new virus has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people — especially people over age 60 or who have weakened immune systems.

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 or sneezes. 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 six feet).

Learn more at on the CDC website.

2. How is COVID-19 treated?

Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications. However, some cases develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.

Most COVID-19 illnesses are mild with fever and cough. The vast majority of people with the virus do not require hospital care. A much smaller percentage of people get severely ill with lung and breathing problems, like pneumonia. Elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions are at highest risk.

3. How many positive confirmed cases are there in Fort Worth?

Get daily updates on confirmed cases, hospitalization rates and more are available from Tarrant County Public Health.

 

Prevention & Monitoring


1. How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

People should practice routine healthy hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you can.
  • Wash hands often and for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, doorknobs and other places touched often.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

2. What do I do if I have a suspected case of COVID-19?

Monitor your symptoms and call your doctor. Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Follow isolation and recovery guidelines from the CDC.

Community Testing


1. What is a community-based testing facility?

The city of Fort Worth partners with community organizations to provide community-based testing. 

2. Where do individuals get an appointment?

To use this site, patients must have an appointment. Community-based testing appointments can be made online or by phone at 817-248-6299. The process starts with a self-screening tool, answer a few questions to be screened to access available test appointment options.

3. Who should get tested?

In an effort to maximize testing for COVID-19, testing criteria has been relaxed to also include those with no symptoms. Please see below for new testing criteria. Individuals without COVID-19 symptoms:

All residents who are 18 years and older and is:

  • Over 65 years old
  • An essential worker
  • Health care workers
  • Retail workers
  • Anyone with underlying conditions (excluding smokers)
  • Has been in contact with someone who has been tested COVID-19 positive

Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms:

All residents who are 18 years and older, who has a:

  • major symptom
    • cough
    • fever
    • shortness of breath

    OR

  • 2 minor symptoms
    • chills
    • severe shaking or shivering
    • muscle pain
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • loss of smell or taste

4. What happens at the community-based testing facilities?

The community-based testing facilities are drive-through facilities. Patients remain in their vehicles, rolling down windows only once for the actual test.  

5. When are test results available?

COVID-19 test results are available within a few days.  Patients with positive test results receive a call notifying them of the positive result.

6. Is health insurance a requirement?

No. Insurance is not required at the community-based testing sites. If a patient is insured, their insurance information is requested. However, the patient will not be billed or have any out-of-pocket expense for the service provided, including no copays.

7. Is a doctor referral required?

No. Patients will be pre-screened online or by phone. A doctor within a partner agency serves as the ordering physician for the laboratory order.

8. Do I have to be the driver?

No. Patients can be the driver or can be a passenger in a personal vehicle. The only requirement is that the patient is seated directly next to a side window that can be opened and closed to allow for the test.

9. Can more than one person in a car be tested?

Yes. For example, if a car with four doors had four people, each with individual appointments for the same day, each could be sampled at their respective window. No test can be given to a person seated in the middle of a seat away from a window.

10. Are these sites testing for antibodies for the COVID-19 virus?

No. These testing sites only offer tests for positive or negative diagnosis for COVID-19.

11. Are there other testing facilities besides the community-based sites?

Yes. Please visi tthe Testing and Prevention page for lists of sites that offer testing. They include:

  • fee-for-service testing
  • free testing- expanded to individuals without symptoms
  • free community-based testing- expanded to individuals without symptoms

Community and Business Resources


1. Where do I go for local information?

Residents and business professionals have several options for finding resources to help them in their response to COVID-19:

  • For questions about COVID-19: call 817-248-6299 (this number is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week) or email COVID19@fortworthtexas.gov
  • For questions related to businesses: call 817-392-8478 (this number is answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) or email COVID19@fortworthtexas.gov
  • For questions related to city services changes, contact the City Call Center: by phone at 817-392-1234; or email 1234@FortWorthTexas.gov
  • Daily updates on confirmed cases, hospitalization rates, etc. from Tarrant County Public Health

Additional resources