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What to do if you think you have COVID-19

An easy guide to figuring out what your symptoms mean
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Posted at 9:19 AM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 09:19:59-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — If you’re concerned that you might have COVID-19 the first thing you need to do is ask yourself a few questions.

1. Have you come into contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus in a classroom, office, or social gathering?

  • If yes — call your primary care physician
  • If no — see question 2.

2. Have you traveled to a country (see list below) that has a level 2 or 3 travel notice by the CDC?

  • If yes — call your primary care physician
  • If no — see question 3
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City

3. Are you showing symptoms of illness: fever, dry cough, shortness of breath?

  • If yes — call your primary care physician
  • If no — see question 4.

4. Have you tested negative for other infections including the flu?

  • If yes — call your primary care physician

It is important to note: you must call a physician or hospital before showing up. This is so that necessary precautions and accommodations can be made if you are asked to come in for testing.

Additional guidelines have been outlined by the CDC:

“Mildly ill patients should be encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance about clinical management. Patients who have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their physician early in the course of even mild illness.”

If you are not showing any symptoms of illness there are still a few “best practices” to use at this time.

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid traveling if you are sick.
  • If you have traveled to any destination during the past 14 days:
  • Monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
  • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
    • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.