We now understand that some patients can be infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms, which means these patients can transmit the virus without knowing they are sick. This is a major concern since one of the mainstay recommendations, thus far, for avoiding COVID-19 infection is staying away from those who are sick.
So what does this mean for the general population? We all need to double down on prevention. Here is a summary of the guidelines the Center for Disease Control has put in place for you, your family, and your community to help prevent the disease from spreading.
Everyone should do the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Consider carrying hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Stay home if you are feeling sick for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away.
- Get your flu shot if you haven’t done so yet.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissue to avoid spreading your saliva. Throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wipe down surfaces that come in contact with multiple people.
- If someone in your house is sick, stay home. You may be carrying the same virus.
Each person who is feeling sick should:
- Stay at home and in a separate room from other family members.
- Use a face mask even when you are at home.
- Avoid sharing personal items.
- Avoid attending any group events.
- Monitor your symptoms: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, remember to call ahead before visiting your healthcare provider to share your symptoms and that you may have COVID-19. This will help providers have the appropriate tests on-hand and prepare the clinic to keep others from getting infected or exposed.
If you are feeling sick, we also recommend reaching out to a doctor via video or app, like with Carbon Health, Teladoc or Doctor on Demand, to get your questions answered from the comfort and safety of your home.
While we hope not to see widespread outbreak in our communities, following these guidelines and taking the right prevention and preparedness steps will put in a stronger position to contain the disease should it begin spreading.