COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated on May 22, 2020

 

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?

There are no medications specifically approved for COVID-19. 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.

Reopen Texas


1. What is the plan for reopening Texas?

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday, May 18 revealed Phase II to reopen Texas businesses in GA-23. Per the GA-23, every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain Covered Services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

 

The governor’s plan includes a timeline that allows certain businesses to begin reopening under specific health and safety conditions.

View the governor's report to open Texas.

Read details about the current declaration.(PDF, 159KB)

2. Where can I find more information on opening my business or going into a reopened business?

Violations


1. Who do I contact to report any violation to the current mandate?

Residents are encourages to report any violations or questions regarding if a business can operate under the current mandate.

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 has partnered with the University of Texas Health Science Center, the University of Texas Southwestern and Tarrant County Public Health to open free COVID-19 drive-through testing sites throughout Fort Worth and Tarrant County; community-based testing sites are provided through this public partnership.

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:

Any Tarrant County resident (18 years and older) who 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:

Any Tarrant County resident (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. No walk-ups allowed. At the site, you can expect a four-step process:

  1. Check-In – Patient shows ID or QR code through their car window to confirm appointment.
  2. Verification – Patient shows ID through their car window to verify their identity.
  3. Instructions – Patient reads instructions from inside their car while windows remain up.
  4. Test – Medical team staff performs test by placing a swab inside the patient’s nose.

5. When are test results available?

COVID-19 test results are available within a few days. Typically this takes four or five days depending on the demand for testing. Patients with positive test results receive a call notifying them of the positive result. Patients with a negative test result will be sent results by mail.

Patients can also visit the Quest Diagnostics website.

How to Log in to Quest Diagnostics to view test results.

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. If I live outside of Tarrant County, can I get tested at one of these sites?

No. Testing at these sites is reserved for Tarrant County residents. If you reside outside Tarrant County and need a COVID-19 test, please contact your local public health agency or the State of Texas hotline: Dial 2-1-1, then choose Option 6.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Can children under the age of 18 be tested?

No. Testing materials and processes are intended for individuals who are 18 years of age or older. For testing for anyone under the age of 18, please consult your primary care physician or the Tarrant County Public Health hotline: 817-248-6299.

12. 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.

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

Yes. Please visit the 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:

2. Will city services continue to operate?

Yes. All critical city services and emergency services will continue to operate as usual. Call 911 in an emergency. Household garbage, recycling and yard waste pickup continues on regular schedules. For city services questions, call 817-392-1234.

3. What city facilities are open or closed?

Visit the city services page for an online list of programs and services that have been impacted by COVID-19. While we try to post the current information, it is also a good idea to call ahead to make sure appointments and facilities are still open to the public.

4. Will city transportation be affected?

As the COVID-19 events continue to increase in its service area, Trinity Metro made temporary service adjustments to reduce the risk for customers and employees. Get the latest from Trinity Metro.

5. How can I do more? Where do I volunteer?

During this time of social distancing, many opportunities to directly serve people in need are limited, however, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Visit the COVID-19 volunteer page for details on different volunteer and donation opportunities.

Additional resources