What We Know About (COVID-19) Coronavirus Disease 2019

Last Updated: May 1 at 2:38 p.m. PT

Where can I get tested?

We understand your level of concern when it comes to COVID-19. You may be wondering if – based on your exposure or symptoms – you might qualify for testing. We are here to answer your questions and help guide you through this process.

Please keep in mind a Banner Health team member will determine if you need to be tested. Healthy individuals do not require testing. In addition, appointments are limited, and we may prioritize others who are at higher risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

Learn more about Banner’s testing sites near you.  

Learn more about COVID-19:

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? 

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is transmitted through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Getting sick from these droplets requires proximity to an infected person, or touching a surface that might have a droplet, then touching your mouth, nose and possibly eyes. You are at low risk of contracting the virus unless you have recently traveled to an outbreak site or have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus. More information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website.

How can plasma donation help COVID-19 patients?

As we navigate through this pandemic, Banner Health continues to find new ways to effectively treat our patients and keep our communities safe. Treating critically ill COVID-19 individuals with convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus can save lives.

Learn how to make a difference by donating plasma if you or someone you know has recovered from COVID-19.

Prospective donors can register online:

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Primary symptoms of the virus include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

In 80% of patients, COVID-19 causes only mild cold symptoms. The elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to the virus. People at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should contact their health care provider early, even if their illness is mild. 

Are there any tools available that can help me evaluate my symptoms?

Yes, Banner Health has a digital triage tool that can help you evaluate your symptoms and recommend treatment options. You can access our symptom checker here.

Check My Symptoms

Will I have to pay for COVID-19 testing and services?

It is important to not delay testing or treatment for COVID-19 if you have concerning symptoms. You may be wondering what these services cost or how they will be paid for. Here are some common questions and answers related to cost and billing.

Learn more about common questions and answers related to cost and billing.

Is COVID-19 contagious?

Yes. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can significantly reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 by frequently washing your hands.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is spread mainly through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It is also possible for someone to get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object, and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

Is there a cure for COVID-19?

It is important to know that care for those with COVID-19 is similar to that of other viruses. Roughly 80% of individuals who contract COVID-19 can provide self-care at home while in isolation. For those who need to be hospitalized, your doctor would provide you with supportive care to manage your symptoms and monitor your vitals, but there is no drug or treatment that will cure COVID-19.

How can I protect myself?

Clean your hands frequently.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Additional ways to protect yourself:

As of now, masks are not recommended to protect against COVID-19. Masks should only be worn by some health care professionals and patients being screened and receiving care for COVID-19, to protect other patients and health care workers.

How can I protect others?

These are ways that you can protect others from contracting COVID-19:

  • Stay home if you’re sick. Do not leave your home except for medical care. Avoid public areas and public transportation.
  • Separate yourself from others in your home. This is known as isolation.
  • Call ahead if you need to see your doctor.
  • Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth. Medical-grade facemasks should be reserved for health care workers.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.  

Are hospitals restricting visitors?

Banner is currently exercising visitor restrictions. These restrictions can be found here.

View our Visitor Restrictions

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Banner has also limited access to its hospitals. Main entrances and emergency room entrances will remain open at all locations, but other secondary entrances may be restricted at this time.

Can I send something to my loved one who is hospitalized?

We will not accept deliveries for hospitalized patients at this time. This includes flowers, gifts, care packages or similar items. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to implement measures to protect our patients and team members. 

What can I do to support health care workers and the community?

Contributions to the Supporting Our Staff (SOS) Fund help Banner Health employees experiencing unexpected financial hardships that may include child care, utility bills, loss of income due to missed work or other needs.

Charitable donations to the Coronavirus: COVID-19 Response Fund will be immediately deployed to meet the following needs:

  • Community testing
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Community education efforts

To learn more or to donate, click here.

Banner Health Foundation is accepting donations of medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment, including hand-crafted masks, from businesses and/or community members who have supplies that they do not currently need. Donations can be dropped off at:

Project C.U.R.E. -  2100 W. 14th St., Building T3, Tempe, AZ 85281
Donation Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Important instructions: To keep volunteers and donors safe, people bringing donations should pack the items into the trunk of their car and pull into the donation line. Please leave windows up and do not get out of your car. A volunteer will unload the items. Please place hand-crafted masks in a separate box or container from other donations labeled “homemade masks” and with the enclosed quantity. All people at the site are advised to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet apart. Anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms, cough or fever should not come any donation sites.

Banner Health is also accepting donations of medical supplies, hand-crafted masks and PPE in Tucson and Payson, each utilizing a different process:

Tucson Donations

  • Banner Home Health - 575 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85704
    Donation Hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Donors should call (520) 694-9180 upon arrival to safely give donations to a staff member.

Payson Donations

  • Banner Payson Medical Center  - 807 S. Ponderosa St., Payson, AZ 85541
    Donations accepted by appointment through the Volunteer Department. Call (928) 471-1294 to schedule your drop-off. 

Colorado Donations

Homemade masks can be delivered to the main entrance of Banner’s three hospitals in Colorado. A screener will meet you at the entrance to receive the donation while observing the no-visitor policy. Masks will be laundered on-site before being distributed to staff.

  • McKee Medical Center
    2000 Boise Ave., Loveland
  • Banner Fort Collins Medical Center
    4700 Lady Moon Dr., Fort Collins
  • North Colorado Medical Center
    1801 16th St., Greeley

To learn more about ways to support our communities and employees providing care and services to our patients, please visit www.bannerhealth.com/COVIDHelp

Will you sign a back-to-work clearance for my employee?

Banner Health emergency rooms are experiencing an influx of citizens arriving for a "back-to-work clearance," at the directive of their employers. Emergency rooms are not equipped for, nor the appropriate venue for, such clearances.

We are asking all employers to find alternative ways to evaluate their employees’ fitness to return to work following an illness, such as contacting their primary care provider or being symptom free for a period of time. The emergency room is for those with serious health concerns that require immediate medical attention.

Banner will not provide "fit-for-work clearances" or test for COVID-19 at the request of an employer. Only those who meet CDC criteria for testing will be tested.

For more information, visit the CDC website.  

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