Updated: April 15, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

    COVID-19 (coronavirus) is from a family of viruses that can cause respiratory illness in humans. An outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus, called COVID-19 (formerly 2019-nCoV), was recently reported in Wuhan, China. Travelers from that area of the world have since carried the virus to other countries, including the United States.
  • What are the symptoms of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection?

    Patients with a confirmed infection from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) reported the following symptoms, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

    • Fever (not always present).
    • Difficulty breathing/Shortness of breath.

    Download COVID-19 (coronavirus) Symptoms Chart – UT Health RGV

    SPECIAL NOTE: Call your doctor if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 (coronavirus) or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

  • What should I do if I believe I may have been infected?

    Stay home. If you are experiencing symptoms, such as fever, shortness of breath, or cough and feel you may have contracted the COVID-19 (coronavirus), seek medical attention from your health provider or from the UTRGV Employee Health Clinics (Edinburg: (956) 296-1731 or Harlingen: (956) 296-1519) or UTRGV Student Health Services (Edinburg: (956) 665-2511 or Brownsville: (956) 882-3896).
  • What should I do if I am an employee of UTRGV and I have been in contact with a family member from one of the coronavirus affected areas?

    The standard precautions should be (washing hands, social distancing, monitor for symptoms). If the family member is asymptomatic, continue to monitor. If the family member becomes symptomatic, the family member needs to call their Health Care Provider. If there are concerns the local Health Department needs to be involved considering they are the Health authority for public health issues.

    The employee should call the Employee Health Clinic before coming back to work. The Clinic will provide guidance on what the employee should do going forward. The employee should communicate with their supervisor.

  • How can I prevent getting the COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

    Stay home. Visit the COVID-19 (coronavirus) Prevention and Treatment page to learn more about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19 (coronavirus). For now, the best defense is to follow some of the same steps you would take to prevent getting other viruses, such as the common cold or the flu.

  • What are some basic protective measures I can take?

    Stay Home.


    Clean your hands often.

    • 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, and/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.


    Avoid close contact.


    Clean and disinfect.

    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.


    Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    • Get enough sleep.
    • Eat a healthy diet.
    • Drink plenty of liquids.
    • And, exercise if you are able.


    These steps will strengthen your immune system and enable you to fight off infections easier.

    The CDC website has additional FAQs on the topics of TravelPregnant Women and COVID-19 (coronavirus), and COVID-19 (coronavirus) and animals.