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Covid-19: How to self-isolate

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Posted at 3:54 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 16:23:29-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This week the CDC warned Americans it's not if, but when the Coronavirus (Covid-19) arrives in the U.S. We're hearing a lot about self isolation for people who have come into contact with the virus.

Ok, so what does self-isolate mean? Here's what the medical team at MIT says you should do:

  • "If you are asked to self-isolate, you should stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings for 14 days."

We understand, the idea of self isolation can be overwhelming, even scary. But, there are plans and preparations you can make now to help make sure you and your family are ready.

Here are some tips from international experts:

  • Anticipate at least seven to 10 days in isolation at home.

  • Try to have a two-week supply of non-perishable food items in the pantry. Stock long-life alternatives to perishable food items, such as canned fruit and frozen vegetables.

  • Have a supply of disposable tissues, antibacterial wipes and latex gloves.

  • Check that your first aid kit includes a thermometer and pain reliever to help reduce fever.

  • Make sure you have enough of any prescription and non-prescription medication you need to last a couple of weeks.

  • Talk with friends and relatives who don’t live with you about supporting each other if one household has to be quarantined. For example, agree to drop groceries or other supplies at the front door.

If you start to develop symptoms (fever or cough) it's important that you don't just show up at a doctor's office, immediate care or hospital. Experts say you should seek medical advice over the phone first.

Why it's important to self-isolate:
Medical experts say Covid-19 causes mild symptoms in four out of five people. Self-isolation can help protect older people, those with compromised immune systems or those with underlying health conditions from becoming infected.

It's important to note as of this writing (February 27, 2020) there have been no reported cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Western New York.