13 Myths about COVID-19, de-bunked by Centura Health

Since March, Centura Health’s 21,000 incredible caregivers across Colorado and western Kansas have been responding with courage, compassion, and kindness to meet the health and health care needs of our communities

As a connected community, Centura has weathered more than a dozen pandemics in our 138 years as a healing ministry, but we’ve never faced a pandemic like this one. COVID-19 didn’t come with a script or playbook, which has often left all of us wondering and wanting more answers.

Why do some people get really sick, and others do not?

Will we see additional waves?

How infectious is the virus, really?

How long must social distancing restrictions last?

Six months since Colorado’s and Kansas’s first confirmed COVID-19 cases, and despite all we’ve learned to better treat patients and improve outcomes, there remain many unanswered questions about this novel coronavirus and its long-term effect on our health and well-being - mind, body and spirit.

In times of uncertainty, myths and conspiracy theories bloom as people seek to make sense of a chaotic world and all the unknowns. Being mindful of your whole health is important and COVID-19 conspiracy theories have become so abundant that Centura Health feels it’s important to help set the record straight for you - our patients, communities, and neighbors.

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Myth 1: Is COVID-19 just another flu – and perhaps not as serious?

As influenza season arrives, Dr. Shauna Gulley, Chief Clinical Officer and Senior Vice President for Centura Health, takes a look at the comparison between the flu and COVID-19.

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Myth 2: Only people with visible symptoms are capable of spreading the virus.

Dr. Ozzie Grenardo, a family medicine provider for Centura Health, discusses whether asymptomatic COVID-19 patients can transmit the disease to others.

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Myth 3: Only older adults are at risk. Children and young adults cannot get COVID-19.

Dr. Stephen Cobb, Chief Medical Officer for Centura Health’s Denver Metro Operating Group, says that while the severity of illness can vary among children, adolescents and young adults, this demographic can absolutely contract and transmit COVID-19 in our communities.

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Myth 4: Most people who get COVID-19 get very sick and die.

The majority of COVID-19 patients are able to recover from their illness at home and without hospital care, says Dr. Britney Anderson, an Emergency Medicine Specialist with Centura Health. For those whose illness is more serious, it’s important for them to know our hospitals are safe and prepared to give them the care they need. 

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Myth 5: There is nothing we can do until a vaccine is invented.

Actually, there are five steps each of us can take to minimize the impact of COVID-19 until a vaccine is created.

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Myth 6: Social distancing and being safer at home don’t apply to me.

Dean Sanpei, Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President for Centura Health, says significant amounts of data and research prove that social distancing is still the best way to protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Myth 7: Masking always protects against this coronavirus. N95 masks are necessary in all situations. Cloth masks are just as effective.

Face masks have become part of our everyday wardrobes, and for good reason. But does it matter what kind of mask you wear? Dr. Andrew French, Chief Medical Officer for Centura’s St. Anthony North Health Campus, provides answers.

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Myth 8: COVID death rates are being inflated. One of the reasons is that hospitals get paid more for COVID patients. Hospitals and physicians are also putting patients on ventilators because they will get paid more for their care.

At Centura Health, we provide the care needed for each of our patients, regardless of who the payor is.

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Myth 9: There is a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), which is putting health care workers in danger.

Caregiver safety has always been our No. 1 priority. Centura Health follows CDC guidance for PPE and has worked hard to ensure adequate supplies for all our caregivers.

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Myth 10: I need to regularly get tested to know if I have or have had the virus.

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Myth 11: There are a number of treatments, medications, vitamins, and other remedies that will prevent or even cure the virus.

Dr. Michael Roshon, Emergency Physician and Chief of Staff at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, dispels the myth that existing medications or treatments, including hydroxychloroquine, can prevent or cure COVID-19.

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Myth 12: Ibuprofen can make the COVID-19 infection worse.

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Myth 13: Ventilators are doing more harm than good with COVID-19 patients.

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