COVID-19: Answering the most frequently asked questions

We provide answers to some of the most common asked question when it comes to COVID-19 and separate fact from fiction.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 9:01 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -Halloween, the holiday season, and the election are right around corner and with many wanting to participate in these events health officials advise people do so safely.

Halloween Safety Tips from the CDC:

- People are encouraged to make masks apart of their Halloween costumes; whether you’re handing out candy or receiving health officials advise everyone wear a mask

- Maintain a 6 feet distance from others; people are advised to avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters or leave candy outside whenever possible

-Hand washing is strongly encouraged especially before digging into treats

Voting during the pandemic tips from the CDC:

- People are encouraged to take advantage of early voting or other forms of casting your ballot like mail-in voting or utilizing drop boxes

- Voting machines and any commonly used items should be sanitized as frequently as possible if not between every use

- When out voting at the polls people are encouraged to wear a mask at all time and maintain a social distance from other voters

Traveling during the pandemic tips from the CDC:

- Travelers are advised to check each state’s cases within the last seven days

- Consider your household contacts and if you’re exposed who could potentially be at risk when you return

- Travelers are advised to check if their destination has any requirements they must follow or if there are any restrictions in their home state when returning.

Answers to some COVID-19 FAQ’s:

Question #1: What is the difference between the nasal swab and saliva tests for COVID-19?

Answer: The saliva test is generally easier to perform and more comfortable than the nasal swab however both methods can be used for PCR tests which detect genetic material from COVID-19. (Source: Harvard Medical School)

Question #2: How reliable is the COVID-19 test ?

Answer: There are two types of COVID-19 tests. The first being the PCR test which is the standard COVID-19 test and the second is the rapid test. Generally speaking, if your test comes back positive than its most certain that person is infected. However, if your test comes back negative there is a chance you could still be positive. Health experts advise waiting to get tested a few days after being infected or developing symptoms. (Source: Harvard Medical School)

Question #3: Is a person who has been infected with COVID-19 protected from becoming infected again?

Answer: People who are infected with COVID-19 produce antibodies to help fight off the virus if it would return however experts say people can become re-infected and still have the potential of spreading it to others. (Source: Harvard Medical School)

Separating COVID-19 fact from fiction:

Myth #1: I’m wearing a mask, so I don’t need to social distance.

Explanation: False. Wearing a mask and maintaining a six feet distance is the most effective combination to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask does limit droplet spread, but doesn’t eliminate it all together, so its best to practice social distancing as well. (Source: University of Michigan Health)

Myth #2: Masks with exhalation valves are more comfortable and offer the same amount of protection.

Explanation: False. Masks with exhalation valves are not nearly as safe as the valves allow germs and droplets to be expelled in the air. (Source: University of Michigan Health)

Myth #3: Wearing a mask causes a dangerous build of carbon dioxide if worn for long periods of time.

Explanation: False. There is no science supporting this. CO2 particles are extremely small and can pass through masks. (Source: University of Michigan Health)

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