Information from the medical community and government officials around COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is ever-changing. So we came up with a form for people to ask questions. Here are the answers to your questions.

Q: Can people who recover from COVID-19 be infected again?

A: The immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood. Patients with MERS-CoV infection are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19.

SOURCE: Center for Disease Control

Q: Will school be extending into summer if the two weeks off turns into two months?

A: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services ordered that all public and private Wisconsin schools close beginning Wednesday, March 18. The order anticipating reopening April 6, but left things a little open because it is not known how quickly the pandemic will spread. The order mentions that the closure is “subject to change pending further information.”

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump extended the social distancing guidelines through April 30. But the state or the school district decides whether to close the schools.

“It is way too soon to answer that question,” said Racine Unified School District spokesperson Stacy Tapp. “We will need to see how the situation unfolds and whether we are able to get back to school yet this year. And we will need to see what direction we receive from DPI and the governor.”

SOURCE: Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Racine Unified School District

Q: I have symptoms of Covid and contacted my doctor last week. I was told to wait for info in the newspaper to find out how to get tested. I still haven’t seen anything.

A: Here’s what we have reported and what we know right now: Testing supplies and laboratory supplies needed to process the tests are in short supply. There is a nationwide shortage of tests. But, state officials are working to alleviate that problem.

Governor Tony Evers issued a press release Monday announcing an expanding the number of labs through a public-private partnership that can process the tests. Right now, the labs’ process 1,500 to 2,000 tests per day.

According to the announcement, the expanded capacity from the state’s new public-private partnership is expected to double that capacity initially and continue to grow as additional platforms and supplies become available. Still, not everyone needs to be tested, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Who gets tested for COVID-19 is based on the clinical judgment of the clinician. The CDC emphasized on their website that providers should test hospitalized patients “for whom a timely diagnosis of COVID-19 is critical to inform management decisions.”

SOURCE: Center for Disease Control and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Q: My daughter is pregnant and has a compromised immune system due to having a liver transplant. I work at a daycare. I’ve been off sick staying at a friend’s house because I don’t want to get my daughter sick. Is it wise for me to go back to work? 

A: According to officials with Workforce Solutions, these decisions should be made between you and your healthcare provider. Staff encourages this person to contact their healthcare provider to answer this question.

SOURCE: Workforce Solutions

Q: My husband works for the school district. Although schools are closed, some staff are still there. I’m immunocompromised. It is stressful thinking there are groups of people working together still. I’m afraid he will end up bringing this virus home. How can I keep myself protected?

A: This is a valid concern. First and foremost, if you have any health concerns, please call your doctor. The Center for Disease Control offers several preventative steps for people to take to avoid becoming sick. Symptoms for the COVID-19 virus range from mild to severe. Still, about 80 percent of people who contract the virus are expected to experience mild symptoms. It can take from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the infection to appear. Here’s a link to a story about how the disease is transmitted, the symptoms, and when to get tested.

SOURCE: Center for Disease Control

If you have a question pertaining to the COVID-19 virus, please submit them by clicking on this form.

Denise Lockwood

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.