Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

What is the coronavirus?

A coronavirus causes a viral infection. It affects the respiratory (breathing) system. You may have heard of other coronaviruses like MERS and SARS. A new strain of coronavirus is now in the United States. This is the virus on the news that first showed up in China.

What is the name of the disease?

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the new name of this disease is “coronavirus disease 2019.” For short, it is called COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms can be from mild to very bad. These symptoms may start two to 14 days after being around the virus. People with one or more of these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or hard time breathing.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Feeling very tired.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Repeated shaking with chills.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Headache.
  • Sore throat.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting. 
  • Diarrhea.

How do coronaviruses get passed around?

People can pass coronaviruses to other people. Sneezing, coughing, and being around people with the virus can put you at risk. The virus can also be in the air and on things that you touch.

What can I do to help not get the coronavirus?

As of now, there are no vaccines (shots) for this coronavirus. But there are other things you can do to help from getting it:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home and workplace.
  • Cover your face with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, then throw the tissue away immediately.
  • Try not to be near people who are sick.
  • Wear a cloth mask to cover your nose and mouth in public places. This can help you and other people to keep from getting the virus. 

What do I do if I think I’m getting sick?

If you think you are getting sick, call your primary care provider (PCP). He or she can help find out why you feel that way. Your PCP will know how to help you feel better. In case of an emergency, call 911.

How do I get my medication refilled?

You can get an early refill on most prescriptions, to help make sure you have enough medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply on some maintenance medicines. Contact your pharmacy or Pharmacy Member Services toll-free at 1-855-371-3936 for more information.

What if I need medications delivered to me?

  • Ask your pharmacy if no cost prescription delivery is available. Many pharmacies are now offering new delivery options due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Walgreens Pharmacy has a mail order service available to AmeriHealth Caritas Florida members. You or your provider can call Walgreens Mail Order at 1-800-345-1985 to have prescriptions delivered to your home. Be sure to have your AmeriHealth Caritas Florida member ID card and your medication labels with you when you call.
  • If you have questions, please call Pharmacy Member Services toll-free at 1-855-371-3963.

How do I know if I am at high risk for COVID-19?

Older adults and people of any age with certain medical conditions have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. These medical conditions include:

  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant.
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher).
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies.
  • Sickle cell disease.
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Children who are medically complex; have neurologic, genetic, or metabolic conditions; or have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.

COVID-19 is a new disease. Right now there is not a lot of information about COVID-19. But people with the following conditions might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe).
  • Cerebrovascular disease (disease affecting blood vessels and blood supply to the brain).
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure.
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune-weakening medicines.
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia.
  • Liver disease.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissue).
  • Smoking.
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder).
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

I am pregnant. Am I at high risk?

Pregnant people may be at higher risk for illness from COVID-19. Pregnant women should follow the same prevention tips as other people.

Where can I get tested?

Call your primary care provider (PCP) if you want to find out about testing. Your PCP will know if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Your PCP will tell you where to go for testing. There may be testing at no cost in your area. You can also check with your local health department to find out at

Is coronavirus testing covered under my benefits and services?

Yes, as long as it is ordered by your doctor.

My PCP’s office is closed and I need medical care. Who can I see?

AmeriHealth Caritas Florida continues to monitor the latest information regarding COVID-19. We know some providers may have changed their office hours. If this happens, there may be other options to get the care you need. For example, AmeriHealth Caritas Florida members can access telemedicine services. 

Telemedicine means you can connect with a provider outside of the office. If your provider’s office is closed, ask if you can:

  • Video chat with your PCP using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Text with your PCP through a secure web portal.
  • Talk to your PCP by phone.

Some PCPs may not offer these services. For medical questions, call the 24/7 Nurse Call Line at 1-855-398-5615. For more resources and guidance, visit the CDC COVID-19 homepage.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing means keeping space between you and other people when you are outside of your home. Keep distance (at least 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when you can.

I am feeling overwhelmed/scared/stressed about the coronavirus. What can I do?

If you, or someone you care about, have feelings of sadness, depression, or anxiety call:

  • Nurse Call Line at 1-855-398-5615.
  • Behavioral Health Member Services at 1-855-371-3967 (TTY/TDD: 1- 888-877-5378).
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (TTY 1-800-846-8517).

If you feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911.

Call your PCP if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Where can I go for more information?

For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus and COVID-19, visit:

Information on housing and rental assistance:

For a list of programs under the Federal Rental and Foreclosure Protections (CARES Act as of July 1, 2020) please visit

Watch out for scams:

Learn ways to help protect yourself from scammers and report fraud. Please visit