WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
COVID-19 symptoms often appear 2 to 14 days post exposure, most commonly expressed with either of these symptoms or a combination of them: persistent coughing and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. COVID-19 may also express itself with at least two of the following symptoms, including fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
I THINK I MIGHT BE SICK. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Call before visiting your doctor. The healthcare provider, in turn, can make necessary arrangements to properly care for you and protect others from exposure. If you have an appointment, alert your healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.
Severe cases of COVID-19 may require medical attention, including hospitalization. You may recover from non-severe cases, however, at home. If you are at home, get plenty of bed rest, stay hydrated, and take over-the-counter medications to treat your symptoms.
WHO IS AT THE HIGHEST RISK FOR COVID-19?
According to the CDC, data shows that some people are at a higher risk for getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
- Older Adults (65+)
- Individuals who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Individuals with compromised immune systems
- Individuals who are severely obese (BMI of 40 or higher)
- Individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Asthma (moderate to severe)
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease (undergoing dialysis)
- Liver disease
- Lung disease
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or health condition, it is important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease, including:
- Isolate at home and practice social distancing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or having been in a public place.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay away from large gatherings and crowds.
- Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social or commercial networks.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COVID-19 AND CORONAVIRUS?
COVID-19 belongs to the coronavirus group, which includes seven other human coronaviruses like SARS and MERS. Specifically, “CO” stands for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” and “D” for “disease.” The number 19 denotes the year 2019 of its outbreak.
The coronavirus group derives its name from the Latin word “corona,” meaning “crown” or “wreath.” This viruses resemble a crown when placed under a microscope.
HOW DOES THE VIRUS SPREAD?
Initial infections trace back to live animal markets in Wuhan, China, but the virus quickly gained the capability of spreading person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others, but how long they remain capable of exposing others remains on a case-by-case basis. Before COVID-19 patients are rendered safe to leave isolation, they must have no fever without using fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, show no symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, and receive two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests collected at least 24 hours apart.
HOW CAN I STAY WELL?
Good hygiene is key, similar to other viral preventions. The CDC recommends you wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, have a hand sanitizer readily accessible with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Furthermore, it is imperative you do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Consider using non-contact methods of greeting to avoid handshaking, and make sure high-touch surface—doorknobs, tables, desks, handrails, countertops, toilets, light switches, handles, faucets, sinks, phones, and keyboards—receive proper disinfecting regularly.
Lastly, stay home if you are sick or have a sick family member living with you to avoid exposing others to illnesses
SHOULD I WEAR A MASK?
The CDC recommends you wear a cloth face cover while in public, including going to the grocery store. Individuals who do not feel sick may still spread COVID-19, so the cloth face cover protects other people should you be infected.
Notable exceptions for wearing a cloth face cover include children under two years of age and any person who has difficulty breathing.
You should not use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker, and a cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. Continue maintaining at least six feet between you and others.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN A CLOTH FACE COVER?
Cloth face coverings need routine cleaning depending on their frequency of use. You may clean them using the highest-tolerated settings in your washing machine.
WHAT'S THE SAFEST WAY TO SEEK CARE?
If you're sick and worried you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), use St. Bernards Go for a FREE virtual care appointment. Once you're on the app/site, sign-up or log-in. In the "Payment" window, use the coupon code COVID to waive the $49 visit fee.
Visit your mobile app store and search "St. Bernards Go" to download or visit us at stbernardsgo.com to start using this online service today. Our normal operating hours are Monday-Friday 7AM-8PM, Saturday 9AM-8PM, and Sunday 12PM-8PM.