Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19


If you have an illness, injury, or chronic condition, and need to be seen, call your doctor. Your doctor's office is a safe place! During this stressful time, it is important to take care of yourself. In addition to office visits, many offices are able to utilize telehealth for patients with health concerns. A telehealth visit is a convenient way for you to consult with your doctor without having to go to the office. While there are certain situations or conditions that require an in-office visit, many appointments can happen over the phone or with video chat. Most all insurance plans, including Medicare cover telehealth.

I Am concerned that I might have COVID-19. Should I stay home or head to the emergency department? Does Emerson Offer Testing?

If you are experiencing symptoms, before coming to the hospital or urgent care, call your primary care physician or an urgent care center and tell them about your symptoms. You will be given instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to a potential illness.

  • If it is determined that you require testing, you will be instructed on where to go and what to do. We offer testing with a doctor's order.
  • If you are sick, avoid contact with people; do not leave your home unless absolutely necessary. Here are seven tips to help you cope with coronavirus symptoms.
  • If you come to any area of the hospital and are concerned that you may have COVID-19, please wear a mask and go directly to the reception desk to speak to a staff member. Do not wait in the waiting room.

In the video below, emergency department staff take you through the patient experience when you arrive at Emerson's ED during the COVID-19 pandemic.


What should I do if I have an upcoming surgery or procedure?

A number of additional safety measures are in place to protect patients and staff, including pre-surgical testing and a separate, dedicated entrance just for patients undergoing surgery. Learn more by reading "Surgery at Emerson Hospital: Assuring Your Health & Safety".

Is it okay for my family members/friends to visit me in the hospital?

Patients admitted in the hospital are allowed one visitor at a time. All visitors must be 18 years old or older. Birth partners, parents of patients under 18, attorneys of patients, and companions for individuals with disabilities are also permitted to visit in addition to one visitor. Visitor screenings and other safety measures are in place to protect patients and staff. For more information, please read our current visitor policy. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists several COVID-19 symptoms, which can range in severity from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. These include coughing and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or at least two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, repeated shaking with chills, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.

Is there a treatment for COVID-19?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 commonly treat symptoms at home with rest, fluids and other common cold/flu treatments, although some may require medical care to treat more severe symptoms.

Should I avoid crowded areas?

The CDC's social distancing guidelines still recommend that people avoid large gatherings and crowded spaces. While many states and municipalities are relaxing rules around crowds and capacities in indoor spaces, social distancing precautions are still encouraged.

I do not have any symptoms. Should I wear a mask?

The CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth in the community setting to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms. Please note that individual towns may have their own requirements about wearing face coverings when outside the home. These face coverings are NOT a substitute for social distancing or preventive hygiene. The CDC still recommends that you stay at least six feet away from other people, frequently wash your hands, regularly clean commonly used surfaces, and avoid group gatherings.

Does Emerson need blood donors during this public health emergency?

We are always grateful for blood donations.  At this time, all blood donations must be by appointment only. We are unable to accept walk-ins. This is in keeping with social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please call 978-287-3778 to schedule an appointment or visit our Blood Donor Center page to learn more. Emerson's Blood Donor Center is unable to facilitate plasma donations (plasmapheresis). We urge anyone interested in donating their plasma to contact the American Red Cross. Click here to learn more about plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients.