COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. Most people who get COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some can get very ill. Find the steps you can take to prevent the spread of the virus and the latest on COVID-19 vaccines.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
Latest on COVID-19
Who is eligible for a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Updated booster shots are available to anyone 5 and older who had their last COVID-19 shot at least two months ago.
We strongly encourage all eligible people to get a booster shot. The updated booster is designed to specifically target current strains of the infectious Omicron variant. It provides new protection that may have decreased since your previous COVID-19 vaccine.
You can find a vaccine location near you by visiting ourshot.in.gov and clicking “Click here to find a vaccination site" near the top of the page. Many locations offer walk-in vaccine opportunities.
How do I get tested for COVID-19?
We encourage people who suspect they may have COVID-19 to do one of the following:
- get tested at one of the free community testing sites across the state
- call their primary care provider (walk-in testing is not available at our primary care offices)
We want to ensure our local emergency departments have the resources to care for the sickest patients. Please do not visit an ER to get tested.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Congestion or runny nose
- Fever or chills
- Loss of taste or smell
- Muscle or body aches
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
Symptoms may vary based on vaccination status or with new COVID-19 variants.
What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
Stay home except for medical appointments. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. This means that you should restrict activities outside your home, except for medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas, and you should avoid public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis while sick.
If you have a medical appointment, call your healthcare provider ahead of time and tell them that you have or that you may have COVID-19. This will help your healthcare provider’s office to take steps to take precautions to keep other people from being exposed or getting sick.
When should I see a doctor for COVID-19?
If you are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms and have possibly been exposed to the virus, you should contact your healthcare provider. Before your appointment, call ahead to let your provider know if you’ve recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread and which symptoms you have developed.
What should I do if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Stay home except for medical appointments. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. This means that you should restrict activities outside your home, except for medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas, and you should avoid public transportation, ride sharing or taxis while sick.
Stay away from others as much as possible, including in your home. Try to stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home.
Avoid sharing personal household items, and wash items thoroughly after use with soap and water.
Will I be tested for COVID-19 prior to a surgery or procedure?
In general, if you are going to have a surgery (or another procedure with general anesthesia or certain other types of sedation), you will be tested for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
Do you test surgery team members?
Routine testing of healthcare workers is not currently possible because of availability. Healthcare workers would need to be tested on a daily basis to assure they weren’t infected. This is not feasible in most places across the country. Instead, our healthcare workers all wear masks so that if they are infected, but don’t show symptoms, they will not pass the virus off to each other and our patients.
What should I expect the COVID-19 test to be like?
The test involves placing a cotton swab through your nose and mouth into the back of your throat. The test takes about two minutes. You may experience gagging or coughing as the test is performed, but this quickly subsides. It is mildly uncomfortable. Some patients report that they have a runny nose, mild bleeding from drainage, or some eye tearing for a short period after the procedure.
Where can I be tested before a surgery or procedure?
IU Health has numerous testing locations available including testing in our hospitals.
When will I be tested prior to my surgery or procedure?
We prefer to test you within four days before your procedure, regardless of vaccination status. When performing a test before the procedure, it is very important that you limit traveling, exposures to new people, and high-risk activities (parties, restaurants, bars, sporting events, etc.) between your test and your visit to the operating room to prevent acquiring the virus.
What if I test positive for COVID-19 before my surgery or procedure?
Unless your surgery is an emergency, it is better to wait for your COVID-19 to resolve before you have surgery. If your test is positive, we will inform you and advise you to contact your physician.
What happens if I do not have the test before a surgery or procedure?
That will depend on the conversation between you and your surgeon. Some procedures will be cancelled and rescheduled until the test can be performed.
What are the current visitor restrictions?
We are taking thoughtful, careful steps for everyone’s safety. View our hospital visitor policy page to find the latest on visitor policies and what to expect at your next appointment with IU Health.
How can I communicate with patients who are in the hospital?
We understand that the current visitor restrictions can be frustrating for many of our patients, their families and loved ones. We encourage those who would like to remain in contact with their loved ones while they're in the hospital to utilize virtual video resources such as Skype or FaceTime.
We also offer patient postcards that can be sent to your loved ones in the hospital to let them know you're thinking of them and provide words of encouragement.
Do I have to wear a mask at an IU Health facility?
IU Health takes the health and safety of our team members, patients and visitors very seriously. Please visit the Appointment & Visitor Guidelines page for our updated mask policy.
Can I defer payments if I have financial hardship due to COVID-19?
What is the cash price for the COVID-19 test?
The cash price for the COVID-19 diagnostic test (U0004) in a physician office, inpatient, or emergency department setting is $100 and the cash price for the antibody test (86769) is $42.13.
The cash price for the COVID-19 test and collection (U0004 and C9803) in a hospital outpatient lab is $122.99 and the cash price for the antibody test (86769 and C9803) is $65.12.