Information about COVID-19

Learn about COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms, what to do if you think you have COVID-19, testing options, recommended home care and more.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu symptoms, but include at least two of the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • New loss of taste or smell
What if I think I might have COVID-19?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms – or you think you came into contact with someone who did – we recommend scheduling a video visit so you can talk with a doctor.

You can also call your clinic; visit our 24/7 online clinic, Virtuwell; or get screened for COVID-19 testing. For everyone’s safety, patients with suspected COVID-19 are being evaluated and treated separately from others.

For our members and communities outside of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, please contact Member Services to find a care options in your area.

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

You can get tested for COVID-19 if at least one of the following is true:

  • You have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Your doctor recommended you get tested.
  • You want to be tested for travel, camp, sports or education purposes.
  • You’re scheduled for a surgery/procedure or to be induced within 48 hours with one of our doctors.
  • You’ve had close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

We offer convenient drive-up COVID-19 testing, by scheduled appointment only.

What’s the best home care for COVID-19 symptoms?

Getting plenty of rest and drinking water to stay hydrated is key to feeling better. Please note that because COVID-19 is a viral infection, an antibiotic won't treat the virus.

To help relieve COVID-19 symptoms at home, we recommend the following advice:

If you have a fever or a sore throat
  • For babies under 4 months old: Call your child’s health care provider for care instructions.
  • For all ages over 4 months old: Use acetaminophen to help relieve pain and reduce any fever. Follow age and weight-appropriate dosing recommendations and the package instructions. Avoid stomach upset by taking with food or milk.
  • For children over 1 year old: Honey can help soothe coughs. (This is not recommended for children under one year old.)
  • For adults only: Over-the-counter throat lozenges or antiseptic sprays can also help provide pain relief.
If you have a bothersome cough
  • For children under 4 years old: The FDA recommends no over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children 4 years of age or younger. Plenty of liquids and rest also help children feel better.
  • For adults only: A cough suppressant should only be used when you need a rest or break from your cough. Use an over-the-counter cough medication that contains dextromethorphan (such as Delsym®) sparingly.
  • For adults only: Take a cough expectorant that contains guaifenesin (such as Mucinex®) for three days. This will thin mucus in your chest to make it easier to cough up. Avoid multi-symptom versions, which often have extra letters in their name (such as Mucinex DM®). Drinking water can also help to thin mucus and reduce congestion. It's important to allow your body to cough up mucus to get better.
If you have sinus congestion or pain
  • For babies under 4 months old: A simple bulb syringe and saline nasal spray can be used to clear stuffy noses. Call your child’s doctor for other care instructions.
  • For all ages over 4 months old: Use acetaminophen to help relieve pain and reduce any fever. Follow age and weight-appropriate dosing recommendations and the package instructions. Avoid stomach upset by taking with food or milk.
If your symptoms are severe or you have increasing shortness of breath
  • Call your doctor. 
  • In an emergency, call 911 or visit your nearest hospital’s emergency room.
How can I avoid getting COVID-19?

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses:

  • Wear a mask whenever you’re out in public. Learn more about proper mask wearing (PDF) and tips for mask handling, storage and cleaning (PDF).
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet between yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol.
  • Try to avoid touching your face.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you don’t need to go out.
  • Avoid close contact, especially with those who are sick.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces in your home and workplace.
More FAQs about COVID-19

Yes. To help keep our patients and communities safe, we’ve updated some of our patient and visitor policies.

Yes. We have made several safety changes to our locations to help you continue to receive top-quality care.

Especially if you need time-sensitive care, please don’t delay seeking treatment. Keeping you safe and healthy is our top priority. Our locations are safe and ready to care for both COVID-19 and all your other health needs.

Call your clinic to schedule a visit, make an appointment with your doctor or call 911 if you have a medical emergency.

Yes. As always, we’re here to help improve your health and well-being, whether or not you need care related to COVID-19.

During this time, it’s important to continue the care you need to stay healthy. Please continue to monitor and seek treatment for chronic conditions, and don’t ignore potentially serious symptoms.

We especially encourage you to seek care for time-sensitive health needs or care that your doctor or dentist says is essential, including:

  • Managing chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes
  • Medically necessary procedures, imaging and lab tests
  • Childhood immunizations
  • Help with extreme pain management
  • Time-sensitive colonoscopies and mammograms 
  • Heart attack symptoms
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Intense stomach or abdominal pain, which may be appendicitis, a gallbladder infection or something else
  • Urgent dental concerns, such as severe throbbing, severe swelling, or pain that makes it difficult to sleep or eat

If you have questions about whether or not you should seek care, call your clinic, or call our nurses 24/7 at 800-551-0859 (HealthPartners CareLine℠) or 952-993-4665 (Park Nicollet Nurse Line).
In an emergency, always call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Our hospitals are safe and ready to care for you.

We recognize that many of you may be worried about COVID-19 and how it may affect you or your family’s health. Advance care planning has long been an important element to our patient-centered care. Particularly during this crisis, it becomes even more important for us to know about your values and priorities for care.

If you have questions about how this virus may affect you or the decisions that you may need to make if you became very sick, we recommend that you talk with your doctor. This is especially important if you are over 65 or have an underlying medical condition.

We also encourage everyone 18 and over to complete a health care directive. You can find the forms needed as well as a variety of supporting resources throughout our advance care planning information page.

The flu vaccine won’t prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19. However, we definitely recommend that everyone still get an annual flu shot to protect against influenza.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
For the latest updates on COVID-19, go to:

HealthPartners and Park Nicollet are following these three organizations’ prevention, screening and treatment guidelines. We are working closely with these organizations and other health care providers around Minnesota, Wisconsin and the country to help prevent the virus from spreading. View our COVID-19 preparedness plan (PDF).