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COVID-19 vs. Flu

Senior sitting on the couch sick and blowing nose while holding a cup of tea.

Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are officially in cold and flu season. While coronavirus precautions have brought to light important hygienic practices such as frequently washing hands and wearing masks around others who may be sick, it’s an unfortunate reality that people can still get sick during this time.

If you or a loved one is sick, you may be asking yourself: is this the flu or COVID-19? Since both are upper respiratory diseases, they share similar signs and symptoms that can range from mild to severe. These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

However, there are key differences that can help you determine the difference between the coronavirus and flu.

What is the Difference Between the Flu and COVID-19?

COVID-19 and the flu are both viruses that can pass from person to person through respiratory droplets exchanged when talking, sneezing, coughing or touching an infected surface and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose. But the primary difference between COVID-19 and the flu is that they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is cause by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, while the flu is caused by the influenza A and B viruses.

Symptoms of these two viruses, while similar, appear at different times. COVID-19 symptoms appear two to 14 days after exposure, while flu symptoms will appear much quicker at one to four days after exposure.

The severity and type of symptoms is also a differentiator between the two viruses. For those with COVID-19, one of the more common symptoms is losing the senses of taste and smell for up to several weeks. COVID-19 symptoms can also be much more severe, resulting in a higher frequency of hospitalizations and lung damage, as well as a higher mortality rate.

Since the symptoms of both COVID-19 and the flu are so similar, it’s recommended to visit your doctor if you get sick. A COVID-19 test can help you and your doctor better determine if you have this new virus or if it is the seasonal flu.

COVID-19 Response from Springpoint

As we at Springpoint manage our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and health of our residents and staff remains our top priority. From the beginning of this health crisis, our actions have been guided by our healthcare professionals and medical directors, in compliance with mandates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the State and local departments of Health. Our goal is to provide open communication to the greatest degree possible so we can keep residents, families and staff members informed.

Along with precautions and protocols at each of our Life Plan Communities, Springpoint communities have all offered a COVID-19 vaccine clinic to staff and residents to help protect our community from this virus. Consistent with regulatory guidance, Springpoint has selected CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens to manage distribution and immunization for our residents and employees.

Our team continues to evaluate and update our policies and how we respond to this situation as it develops and will update this page with the most up-to-date information. For any questions regarding our policies or for more information on our safety protocols, please feel free to contact our team.

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