Frequently Asked Questions

What is novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Why is the disease being called coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms on the CDC website.

Who is considered high-risk?

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People 65 and older
  • People living in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People who have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.
  • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown an increased risk

For more information, visit the CDC website.

What if I recently traveled to an area affected by COVID-19?

Please complete the survey on the North Dakota Health website to learn how you should monitor your health to protect yourself and your community.

For additional questions related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 and information for travel, please visit the CDC website.

Where can I find more information on autoimmune disorders and COVID-19?

Altru recommends the following sources of information on COVID-19 for patients with an autoimmune disorder, serious illness, and chronic conditions.

What is the difference between social distancing, quarantine, and isolation?

Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines the difference between social distancing, quarantine, and isolation, and provides recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please visit the CDC website to learn more.

What are the charges for COVID-19 testing?

Below are the prices for COVID-19 testing currently available. 

  • U0001 – No Charge
    2019-nCoV coronavirus, SARS-COV-2/2019-nCoV (COVID-19), any technique, multiple types or subtypes (includes all targets), non-CDC (COVID-19 lab test non-CDC)
  • U0002 - $140.00
    CDC 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) real-time RT-PCR diagnostic panel (2019-nCoV diagnostic p)
  • U0003 - $140.00
    Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique, making use of high throughput technologies as described by CMS-2020-01-R (DNA/RNA SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 AMP PROBE)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Coronavirus Aid (FFCRA) Relief, and Economic Security Act Implementation PART 42
The FFCRA requires plans and issuers to cover items and services provided during a visit that “relate to the furnishing or administration” of COVID-19 diagnostic testing or that relate “to the evaluation of such individual for purposes of determining the need” for diagnostic testing. There may be some exclusions so please check with your insurance company on covered services, some plans may not participate.                                                        

What types of items and services must be covered pursuant to this requirement?
Plans and issuers must cover items and services furnished to an individual during visits that result in an order for, or administration of, a COVID-19 diagnostic test, but only to the extent that the items or services related to the furnishing or administration of the test or to the evaluation of such individual for purposes of determining the need of the individual for the product, as determined by the individual’s attending healthcare provider.

For more FAQs, visit the CDC website.