Skip to main content

COVID-19 FAQ

You probably have questions about COVID-19, and we’re here to help with the answers. You can find more information on the CDC’s COVID-19 website.

For vaccine FAQ and updates, visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.

What is COVID-19, and how is it spreading?

COVID-19 is a respiratory (lung) disease caused by a new (novel) virus. The most common way for the virus to spread is person-to-person transmission, including:

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing.
  • Through close, personal contact, such as by touching or shaking hands.
  • By touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Information from the CDC about how COVID-19 spreads

What are the potential symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have mild to severe symptoms, including some or all of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or a runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not contain all possible symptoms. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Older people and individuals with health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms.

Information from the CDC about COVID-19 symptoms

What can I do to protect myself?

Take preventive actions:

  • Avoid close contact by practicing social distancing.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who do not live in your household.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when you are around others.
  • Monitor your health daily.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.

Information from the CDC about how to protect yourself and others

I think I might have COVID-19. How do I get tested?

Visit our COVID-19 testing page for ways to evaluate your symptoms and information about how get tested for COVID-19.

How much will testing cost?

Visit our COVID-19 coverage for members page for more information about the cost of diagnostic COVID-19 testing based on your coverage type.

What else is covered if I need care related to COVID-19?

Visit our COVID-19 coverage for members page for more information about what’s covered based on your coverage type.

What is monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, UPMC offers a treatment called monoclonal antibodies that works like the antibodies your body naturally produces when fighting infections. This treatment is given in an outpatient clinic through an IV infusion in your arm that should help to keep your symptoms from getting worse. It is for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms who are at risk for severe disease.

To receive the monoclonal antibodies from UPMC, you must test positive for COVID-19, have had symptoms for 10 days or less, AND:

  • Be at least 65 years old
    OR
  • Be at least 55 years old with heart disease, hypertension, or lung disease
    OR
  • Be at least 18 years old with diabetes, immunosuppression, kidney disease, or be overweight
    OR
  • Be 12-17 years old with certain medical conditions

Are monoclonal antibodies safe? Is this a new type of treatment?

Monoclonal antibodies have been used to treat different conditions for many years, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. As with all drugs, they are subject to review and approval by the FDA to ensure that they are safe and effective before they can be used. For more information, visit UPMC.com/AntibodyTreatment, call 1-866-804-5251, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week, or ask your doctor.

Is monoclonal antibody treatment covered by UPMC Health Plan? Is it covered at no cost?

Yes, in-network monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 is covered through July 20, 2021. a,b

If you have questions about your coverage, see your plan documents or contact Member Services for the most up-to-date information regarding your benefits.

aUPMC Health Plan will cover these services from in-network providers with no member cost share until July 20, 2021, so long as permitted under the current State and Federal emergency declarations.

bFor more information on monoclonal antibody treatments, visit UPMC.com/AntibodyTreatment or call 866-804-5251