Over the last few weeks, we’ve been asked by local, state, and national health authorities to stay home as much as possible in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. While we can still seek out essential services, it’s important to take precautions when we do. Here is more information on what you can do to slow the spread and what you should do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms to avoid further spreading the virus.
Slow the spread
We often hear the term “social distancing” used when talking about slowing the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is maintaining at least a 6-foot distance, avoiding crowds or groups over 10 people, and not shaking hands or hugging. It’s important to keep social distancing in mind any time you leave the house whether it is to get groceries or go for a walk.
Here are some other tips for slowing the spread:
- If you are older or have a serious underlying health condition, you should stay home and away from other people. If you need groceries or other necessities, try to have someone bring them to you and leave them outside your door.
- Work from home as much as possible. Student should do schooling at home as much as possible.
- Avoid gatherings in groups of more than 10 even if everyone in the group is feeling healthy.
- Avoid unnecessary travel including shopping trips and social visits.
- Practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, sneezing and coughing into a tissue or the inside of your elbow, and disinfecting surfaces often.
What to do if you feel sick
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) some people may also experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. Since symptoms can vary from person to person, the best thing you can do if you feel sick is to stay home and call your primary care provider. If one person in the house is sick, the everyone in the household should stay home and act as if they are also sick so they do not spread the virus.
Most people who have COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover from the disease at home. If you call your primary care provider with mild symptoms, they may advise that you isolate and monitor symptoms at home. You should not leave the house except to get medical care and even then, take precautions to avoid spreading the virus.
If you develop severe symptoms you should immediately go to the nearest Emergency Room or call 911. Be sure to tell them your symptoms so they can take additional precautions and you should wear a face mask if possible. Emergency warning signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
This list is not all inclusive so you should stay in touch with your primary care provider as your symptoms change.
Fisher-Titus Virtual Visits
In order to continue providing the same level of care for our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fisher-Titus has launched virtual visits for patients.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can complete an online screening at fishertitus.amwell.com. Enter the service key FISHERTITUS.
Additionally, many regular visits with Fisher-Titus Medical Care providers can now be completed over the phone or via video call. If you need to see your doctor for any reason, call the office and ask if your visit can be done virtually. For more information, visit fishertitus.org/virtualvisits.
About Tami Binger
Tami Binger, RN is an infection preventionist certified in infection control at Fisher-Titus. For more information on COVID-19 preparedness, visit fishertitus.org/coronavirus.