Here is a helpful guide for what to be aware of and how to do your part in flattening the transmission curve. Let’s try to protect all the healthcare workers by understanding that you do not need to be admitted to a hospital when you suspect you have symptoms.
- Call or teleconference with your primary physician or local ER. Let’s be thoughtful and not overwhelm the healthcare system as so many lives depend on us NOT panicking and going into the hospital
- Only seek in person medical attention if you are advised by your physician, or if your symptoms are so severe that you cannot keep water/fluids down, or cannot breathe, or if you are having an actual emergency unrelated to covid19.
- If you are not sure, then start by calling your physician or local ER hotline.
Read the guides and links below thoroughly, print them out and give them to family members and kids or keep them posted in a central place (most are 1 page and visually engaging).
What to do if you think you are sick, or if you think you are infected:
Here are the symptoms of COVID-19:
CDC Advice for what to do when you are infected:
Here is how to prevent infecting others if you are sick:
The fundamentals of How People Can Protect Themselves
Every person has a role to play. Protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:
- Staying home except for essential needs/activities.
- Practicing social distancing, at least 6 feet or more from people you do not live with.
- Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
- Following guidance from public health officials, look up your county pubic health officer website and state public health website for great information.
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (6 feet or less apart)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Even though coughing or sneezing into your elbow/sleeve reduces the risk of spreading droplets, If you then tough your sleeve the virus is on your hand, and if you then touch your face or another person you have spread these droplets without realizing it.
- droplets can land on surfaces or items and remain as long as 3 days. a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes;
- There is some shedding of the virus into the GI tract, meaning it comes out in your poop, and adds another reason to wash hands very thoroughly. Though this does not appear to be a primary a transmission route, it is part of why washing your hands and being careful to not eat from sources that are not trusted regarding handwashing.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Spread is possible before people show symptoms
- If someone has already contracted covid19, felt ill but then recovers, they could continue to spread the virus for up to 3 more weeks.
How easily the virus spreads
- This virus spreads very easily from person to person, and can remain in the community for a sustained period of time, and people might not know how or where they became infected.
Situation in U.S.
Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is currently in the initiation phases, but states where community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
- CDC and state and local public health laboratories are testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. View CDC’s Public Health Laboratory Testing map.
- All 50 states have reported cases of COVID-19 to CDC.
- U.S. COVID-19 cases include:
- Imported cases in travelers
- Cases among close contacts of a known case
- Community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown.
- Three U.S. states are experiencing sustained community spread.