By Samuetta Hill Drew
What if you get sick with the coronavirus (COVID–19)? How should you care for yourself at home? What safety steps should you take to prevent the spread to any love ones living with you?
This “What If “series will address safety best practices to follow if you or a love one becomes ill with the Coronavirus (COVID–19). These safety best practices are the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some information may be redundant, but because of the serious nature of this topic it will be emphasized again.
What If You Get Sick?
• Stay at home from work, school and away from any public places. Self-quarantine immediately!
• If you must go out, do not use any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, Uber or taxis.
• Monitor your symptoms closely and call your healthcare provider immediately if they begin to worsen.
• If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider ahead of time and let them know you have or may have COVID–19.
• For all medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have or may have COVID–19.
• Seek medical attention if you develop trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, new confusion or inability to arouse or bluish lips or face. This list is not all inclusive. Consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
• Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue. Dispose in a lined trash can. Wash hand immediately afterwards.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
• As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside of the home, wear a mask.
• Clean all surfaces that are touched often such as counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
• Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. Make sure you wash these articles thoroughly with soap and water or use your dishwasher.
• Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water. Handle any non-disposable used food service items with gloves and wash with hot water or in a dishwasher.
• Stay separated when eating. You should eat in your room away from others.
Remember there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID–19. People with COVID–19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. Keeping an Eye on Safety is important for severe cases including care to support vital organ functions.