COVID-19: Testing, Prevention, And Resources
As a Community First Member, viral COVID-19 testing is covered at
no additional cost to you.
We know that there are a lot of questions and concerns about COVID-19. We’re here to help. Community First Health Plans is committed to bringing our Members the resources and support you need while helping you access the care you deserve.
Find answers to your questions about COVID-19 testing and prevention below.
Who Should Get Tested For COVID-19?
Your doctor is your best resource for determining whether you should be tested for COVID-19. Your doctor may recommend that you be tested if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19
- You have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
Where Can I Get Tested?
Call your doctor to find out where you should get tested.
There are several city-run testing locations throughout Bexar and surrounding counties. Texas residents who live outside Bexar County can access the Texas Dept. of Emergency Services COVID-19 Testing Locator to find testing locations near you.
What Types Of COVID-19 Tests Are Available?
There are two kinds of tests available for COVID-19: viral and antibody.
A viral test tells you if you are currently infected with COVID-19.
- If you test negative, you can still get infected
- If you start to feel sick after testing negative, you may need to get tested again
- A viral test cannot tell you if you were infected before. You will need an antibody (blood test) to show that
- In most cases, a viral test is conducted through a nasal or throat swab or saliva sample. Sometimes the test can be run while you wait, and sometimes the swab needs to be sent to a lab for testing
After getting tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your doctor.
An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection.
- Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection
- An antibody test may not show if you have a current COVID-19 infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies
- In most cases, an antibody test is conducted by having a blood sample taken and sent to a lab for testing
Whether you test positive or negative for COVID-19 on a viral or an antibody test, you still should take steps to protect yourself and others.
Well-Visits and Telemedicine
In recent months, families have been doing their part by staying at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, it’s important that your child continues to see his or her doctor for their routine well-child visits. These well-child visits are essential for many reasons, including:
- Tracking growth and development including milestones, social behaviors, and learning
- Discussing any concerns about your child’s health
- Getting scheduled vaccinations to prevent illnesses like measles and whooping cough
Well-child visits and scheduled vaccinations are covered under your Member benefits.
Community First Providers are also doing their part to help keep you and your child safe. Ask your child’s doctor about telemedicine options. Some clinics may provide virtual appointments that enable you to see your doctor or a nurse via online video conferencing. These appointments enable you to receive ongoing care from your regular doctor when an in-person visit isn’t required.
COVID-19 or Flu?
Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to either virus.
One important difference is there is a vaccine to protect against flu. As a Community First Member, your flu shot is covered at no additional cost to you.
Facts and Prevention
COVID-19 has not previously been seen in humans which is part of what makes the disease so dangerous. It infects the upper respiratory system, much like the flu, and can spread easily from person to person.
We must stay vigilant and do our part to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community.
Here’s what you need to know:
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person, mainly by the following routes:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings, or talks
- It may also be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes
People who are infected but do not have symptoms can also spread the virus to others.
How Can I Protect Myself and Others?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, and eyes
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily including cell phones, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath.
Am I At Risk?
The risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. Always talk with your doctor about any personal risk factors and circumstances to determine whether extra precautions are warranted. Individuals with underlying health conditions are also at increased risk, including those with:
- Kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Heart conditions
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes
While children have been less affected by COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and some children develop severe illness. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions.
When Do I Need To Quarantine?
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should stay at home, separate yourself from others, and monitor your health..It is best to begin quarantine immediately if:
- You were in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with someone who has COVID-19
- You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
- You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
- You shared eating or drinking utensils
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. It’s important to quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Contact your doctor for more information about when and how long to quarantine.
I’m Feeling Sick. What Should I Do?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Monitor your symptoms and call your doctor if you develop any severe symptoms that are concerning to you. If you have trouble breathing, call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
We Are Here To Help
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about your Community First Member benefits. Call 800-434-2347, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm to speak with a representative who can help.
If you have questions after hours, call the Community First Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-434-2347 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help you get the care you need.
COVID-19 Local Information
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has opened a COVID-19 Hotline for residents to ask questions about the virus. The hotline is available in English and Spanish. Residents can call 311 or 210-207-6000 (select option 8 for COVID-19 Hotline) or visit the COVID-19 City of San Antonio webpage for more information including:
- Testing Locations
- COVID-19 Risk Level and Case Numbers
- Current Orders & Declarations
Visit Community First’s COVID-19 Vaccine page for information about the new COVID-19 vaccine.
The Importance of Face Masks
Spread Thanks, Not Germs.
Parents, family members, educators, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear about public health concerns in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. Find additional resources for COVID-19 to help your family cope during this difficult time.