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What to do if You Think You Have, or You Get COVID-19

Author: Dr. Frank R. Laurri, MD

Coronavirus has finally reached the United States and has now been found in every state.

DON’T PANIC! Call the office. If you read this outside office hours here are some great pieces of helpful information.

When should I go to the hospital?

You should only go to the hospital if you are short of breath. If you get up to walk to the bathroom and find yourself out of breath — it’s time to go to the hospital. Don’t go to the hospital if you just have a fever and cough.

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

If tests are readily available in your area, sure (but they are not here.) Otherwise, save them for sick people who really need them until more are available in the area. If you have any respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever, etc.), behave as if you have COVID-19.

How should I isolate myself from my family?

If you are living with someone who is older and more at risk (hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.), you should try to find somewhere else to stay or find somewhere else for them to stay.

Otherwise: Stick to your own bathroom and bedroom if you can to avoid touching surfaces that your family is likely to touch. If you want to come out to eat, that’s fine. Wipe things down afterwards. Keep the 6 feet rule. Make sure everyone obsesses about keeping their hands and surfaces clean and avoids touching their face.

Do I need a mask in public?

As of April 17th in NY state you need to wear a mask in public. Masks are great for reminding you not to touch your face. I can’t tell you not to wear one, but N95s are needed for Healthcare Professionals please don’t stockpile them. Homemade masks offer protection and are better than not wearing a mask. Please refer to several tutorials links here:

SEWING OPTION 1

SEWING OPTION 2

NO SEW OPTION


Should I wear gloves in public?

I would say gloves can put you at risk more than bare hands. Many people touch their shopping carts with gloves and their wallets, car keys, and groceries.  Those items that you touch with your gloves on are potentially spreading COVID-19 to all those surfaces. After you are safely in your car with your gloves you take your gloves off and touch your keys, groceries and car covered in germs. I think you would be better off washing your hands and keeping hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes in your car (if you can find it).

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