What UNC Health Patients Need to Know

Is UNC Health Prepared?

UNC Health facilities maintain readiness for situations such as the one we currently face. Additionally, we have formed a COVID-19 Response Group comprised of senior leaders and medical experts from across our health system. This group is leading our efforts to meet the COVID-19 challenge.

Slowing the Spread with Physical Distancing

Physical distancing, also called social distancing, is still an important part of avoiding being infected with COVID-19 and slowing the spread of the virus to others.

Infographic describing physical distancingIt is also important to remember that it is possible to be infected and not have any symptoms, making physical distancing especially important for not spreading the virus to others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes physical distancing as "keeping space between yourself and others outside of your home." To follow the CDC guidance on physical distancing:

- Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people

- Do not gather in groups

- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

Health Talk: 3 Tips for Staying Connected while Physical Distancing

UNC’s Medical Director of Outreach and Support Intervention Services (OASIS), Diana Perkins, MD, MPH, offers suggestions for how to maintain important social connections while following the guidelines for physical distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read this article and more from UNC Health Talk.

What to Do if You have Symptoms of COVID-19

"About 80% of patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate disease, and can be managed at home."

-David J. Weber, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at UNC Hospitals

Our priority is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure care for those who have severe symptoms and may need to be hospitalized. Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms and can manage their symptoms at home, indoors. People with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others in their home.

If you are sick, take actions to keep others well and reduce spreading the virus:

  • Stay home from work, school, and other public places.
  • Physically separate yourself from other people in your home.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing household items like towels, dishes, and utensils.
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces like counter tops and handles, every day.

If you have shortness of breath or a cough that is not related to seasonal allergies (read more about allergy symptoms), click the COVID-19 Help tab on the bottom of the page. This will bring up our COVID-19 symptom checker that will lead you through some questions to determine if you need medical follow-up. You can also call your doctor’s office. They can help you decide what to do.

Call your doctor before visiting the office or an urgent care location. If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 or seek immediate treatment.

UNC Health also offers virtual urgent care through its UNC Urgent Care 24/7 virtual consultation service for non-emergency medical issues. Go to www.UNCUrgentCare247.com.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing and screening.

COVID-19 Treatment

  • Treatment for mild cases is to stay home and treat symptoms. About 80% of patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate disease, and can be managed at home.
  • The importance of knowing if you test positive with COVID-19 is to stay home and to slow the spread, as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are the most at risk.

What Parents and Families Need to Know

Photos of children

Find out what experts are recommending for parents to help keep your family healthy, as well as what to do if your child has symptoms similar to COVID-19.

Older Adults and High-Risk Patients

Mature Couple

Older adults and patients with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk from COVID-19 and need to take extra precautions.

If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19

If you are concerned you have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19, click the COVID-19 Help tab on the bottom of the page. This will bring up our COVID-19 symptom checker that will lead you through some questions to determine if you need medical follow-up. You can also call your primary care provider. Review COVID-19 testing options on this page. 

UNC Health has a very limited supply of monoclonal antibody treatment medications right now. The fastest way to see if treatment is available or if you are eligible is to call your primary care physician. 

Call 911 or seek immediate treatment if your COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent chest pain and/or pressure
  • A fever >104 degrees Fahrenheit that isn’t improving with over-the-counter fever reducing medication
  • Persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Confusion they weren’t experiencing before
  • An inability to get up
  • A blue tint to your lips and/or face

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Fever or feeling feverish
  • Shaking with chills
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If you were exposed to COVID-19 and have any of the above symptoms, or if you tested positive for COVID-19 less than 21 days ago, please call your provider's office before attending your next appointment.

Learn more about appointment protocols

COVID-19 Test Pricing

The out-of-pocket cost for testing varies:

  • If you have health insurance, you will be billed your primary care copay up to a max of $48.

  • If you do not have insurance, UNC Health currently participates in a program that may be able to assist with Covid-19 related care. Please contact our Customer Service Call Center toll free at (800) 594-8624 or local at (984) 974-2222 for more information on this program.

UNC Health testing/lab costs, before insurance or discounts are applied:

$100 - Caldwell UNC Health, Chatham Hospital, UNC Lenoir Health Care, UNC Medical Center, UNC REX Healthcare, UNC Health Johnston, Nash UNC Health Care, Pardee UNC Health Care and Wayne UNC Health Care

Doctor visits and other services outside of the test, including urgent care and emergency room visits, are billed separately the same as any other medical services at UNC Health.

Caring for Yourself at Home

bedside table covered with tissues, coffee mug, and termometer

The CDC suggests 10 things you can do to manage your health at home if you have possible or confirmed COVID-19.

Learn More about Caring for Yourself at Home