What's the Difference? Allergies, Cold, Flu, Coronavirus

UNC Health Talk and Dana Neutze, MD, PhD, associate medical director of the UNC Family Medicine Center, help explain the different symptoms of allergies, cold, flu and coronavirus.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides answers about coronavirus/COVID-19.

Effective Hand Washing

Hand washing is an important part of preventing illness, but what is the best way to wash your hands? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains their recommendations in this video.


Coronavirus / COVID-19 Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory disease coronavirus/COVD-19. The situation is evolving rapidly, so the best resource for the latest information is the CDC website. Here we will provide updated information as it relates to Pardee UNC Health Care, our preparations, as well as tips for staying healthy.


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems or you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19:

  • Call the Pardee COVID-19 Helpline (828-694-8048) between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for guidance on symptom management and next steps. 
  • Do not go to the emergency department. Emergency Departments need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • For general questions, you can call the UNC Health COVID-19 Helpline at 1-888-850-2684 or the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821. All residents are encouraged to continue to follow the precautions offered by the CDC to protect themselves and others from the spread of all respiratory illness, including flu and COVID-19.

Pardee Drive-Through COVID-19 Screening Site

At the close of screening on Thursday, March 19, Pardee had administered over 280 COVID-19 tests at the drive-through screening site. In an effort to conserve PPE and test kits, while also allowing for staff and supplies to be allocated to hospitals and care centers elsewhere in the county, we've made the decision to not reopen the screening site at Blue Ridge Community College. Patients experiencing symptoms of cough, shortness of breath and fever greater than 100 degrees F, should continue to call the Pardee COVID-19 Helpline at 828-694-8048 for guidance on symptom management and next steps.  The Helpline is open from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm daily. Please do not go to Urgent Care for testing. Pardee Hospital will not be able to provide testing to non-hospitalized patients.

What You Need to Know About Coronavirus

      • Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new disease, and our understanding of the virus that causes it continues to evolve. It was first detected in China and has now been detected in over 100 countries, including the United States. The virus has been named coronavirus (COVID-19). The disease is believed to have originally occurred from animal-to-person contact and spreads person-to-person.
      • In this issue of UNC Health Talk, David J. Weber, MD, MPH, medical director of infection prevention at UNC Hospitals, explains the basics of the coronavirus, how it spreads, and what you can do to keep yourself and your family healthy.
      • Dr. Chris Parsons, Pardee Center for Infectious Disease, dispels common myths surrounding COVID-19 in this interview with WLOS
      • Coronavirus (COVID-19): lo que necesita saber- Conozca los síntomas del coronavirus (COVID-19), protegerse a usted y a su familia y qué hacer si está enfermo.

Stay Informed - Visit CDC Site

Take Preventive Actions

Everyday actions can prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. Protect yourself and others with these tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are used often, such as cellphones, door knobs, and light switches.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • If you do become sick, stay home and limit contact with others in your home as much as possible. 
  • Download our flyers for these tips! 

Helpful Resources

North Carolina has set up a helpline, available 24/7 and staffed by nurses and pharmacists, to answer questions about novel coronavirus/COVID-19, including symptoms, how to reduce the risk of catching it, and what to do if coronavirus is suspected. Call 866-462-3821 and press 1 for English or to ask for a language interpreter. Spanish speakers should press 2. To submit questions online, go to

By the Numbers: North Carolina and Globally

Additional Information


What Parents and Families Need to Know

Find out what experts are recommending for parents to help keep your family healthy, as well as what to do if your child has symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Older Adults and High Risk Patients

Older adults and patients with underlying medical conditions are at greater risk from coronavirus (COVID-10) and need to take extra precautions.

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About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dr. Chris Parsons, Pardee Center for Infectious Disease, addresses what you need to know surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to be safe.

Closings and Updates

To assist in implementing heightened visitor restrictions, effective Tuesday, March 17, the below entrances have adjusted hours of operation or are closed.

  • Justice Street Entrance (Main) – Open 6 am – 7 pm; patients and visitors will be screened upon entry
  • Orthopedic Entrance - CLOSED
  • Fleming Street Entrance - CLOSED
  • Day Surgery Entrance on Fleming Street - CLOSED