FAQs about COVID-19

Answers to common questions about testing and vaccines.

Last updated: March 2, 2022

COVID-19 symptoms or testing

If you are short of breath, go to the emergency room. For other symptoms, you can visit the website of the Centers for Disease control (If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone | CDC) to learn more about the steps to take or call your doctor. Please note that during COVID-19 surges, we may experience long hold times and will do our best to assist as quickly as we can.

Our Optum test sites have limited capacity and do not offer any walk-in options. You can locate public testing options in your area using this website. Testing - Coronavirus COVID-19 Response (ca.gov) There are also at-home testing options available for sale from various retailers and on our Optum store.

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. Visit www.covidtests.gov to request your free tests to be shipped directly to your home.

If you test positive for COVID but don’t have symptoms

  • The current CDC guidance recommends isolating yourself by staying home for 5 days. If you still have no symptoms after 5 days, you can leave your house, but should continue to wear a mask around others for 5 more days. If you develop symptoms during that time, stay home and speak to your provider.

If you are a health care worker

  • You should contact your employer for additional guidance.

The CDC recommendations for isolating and quarantining vary based on your vaccination status. Click here to review current guidelines to follow if you’ve been exposed.

Click here for a list of Optum’s coronavirus (COVID-19) test options and pricing.

These treatments are only given to people who have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test, and who also have additional medical conditions that put them at high risk for serious COVID illness. If you meet those criteria, contact your doctor for medical advice.

COVID-19 vaccines

For California COVID-19 vaccine FAQs click here.

The vaccine can lower your chances of getting COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been tested in clinical trials. It was approved because it can greatly lower the chances of getting COVID-19. Even if you do get COVID-19, experts believe that the vaccine will help protect you, so you don’t get really sick. Your body will be ready to fight the virus.

Help stop the pandemic.
Wearing a mask and social distancing are not enough to control the pandemic spread. Get the COVID-19 vaccine. We need to use all the tools we have to stop the pandemic. Even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing and handwashing will be still important.

Protect yourself.
COVID-19 is serious. People with COVID-19 are 10 times more likely to die than those with the flu. You can spread COVID-19 without looking or feeling sick. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will help protect you from the virus.

All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible.

There are several different vaccines on the market. The number of shots required depend on which one you get and your eligibility status.

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

To learn more, see CDC's updated guidance for people who have received the vaccine click here.

Not yet. There isn’t enough information right now to say if or when you can stop following CDC COVID-19 safety directions. Experts need to understand more about how COVID-19 vaccines work. Many things can affect what we need to do. For example, how many people get the vaccine and how the virus is spreading.

For a complete listing of our COVID-19 vaccine FAQs click here.