If you or someone in your household is displaying symptoms of the Coronavirus you should first go to UrgentCare.com to see the national registry of UrgentCare centers that are providing drive-through testing for COVID-19 or your state or local Health Department. Once you have located the UrgentCare testing center or healthcare department site nearest to you, then contact your healthcare provider (doctor) to make arrangements for a prescription to get tested and receive further instructions. If the person you are caring for will not go to be tested contact their healthcare provider for instructions on what you should do next.
According to the CDC, most people who have gotten sick with the Coronavirus will only experience mild illness and will typically recover at home. At home care helps to stop the spread of the virus and assists in helping to protect those who are most at risk for getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
In the event you are caring for someone at home that has the virus you should monitor them for the following; watch for signs of a worsening of their symptoms that would be considered an emergency, prevent the spread of the infected person’s germs, treat the symptoms as directed by your/their healthcare provider, and only end home isolation as instructed by healthcare professionals.
*Older adults and people of any age that have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes, lung/pulmonary diseases, kidney disease, heart disease, or immunosuppressant diseases are at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from the Coronavirus and should seek medical assistance as soon as symptoms appear.
Here’s What You Should Be Doing If You’re Caring For Someone With COVID-19:
You should carefully monitor the person for fever and worsening symptoms, and know what the emergency warning signs are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Sudden onset of confusion or inability to arouse the person
- Bluish lips or face
*It should be noted that there are other symptoms that may appear, you should consult your healthcare provider for any symptoms that are new, severe or concerning.
Prevent The Spread Of Germs:
The person who is sick should be isolated in one room, away from others in the household (including yourself) as much as possible, you should also do the following:
- Have the person who is sick use a separate bathroom (if possible).
- Avoid the sharing of any personal items such as dishes, utensils, clothing, towels, bedding etc..
- Have the person who is sick place a cloth face covering over their mouth and nose when they are around other people in the household.
- If the sick person is unable to wear a cloth face covering, then anyone in the room with them should be wearing a cloth face covering.
- If the person who is sick must be in an area around others, place a cloth face covering over their mouth and nose.
Self Protection Recommendations:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly immediately after interacting with the sick person you are caring for. If soap and water isn’t readily available use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Be certain to cover all surfaces of your hands and vigorously rub them together until they feel dry.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, mouth or face.
- Frequently clean all surfaces that are touched often, such as; countertops, tables, tv remotes, phones, and other shared items or spaces.
- Use disinfectant sprays and cleaning solutions or wipes according to their label directions.
- Wash all laundry thoroughly. When handling soiled laundry wear disposable gloves and keep soiled items away from your body. Wash your hands immediately after removing the gloves.
- Limit visitors to the sick person to only those who are necessary and maintain a distance of 6 feet from the sick person when possible.
- For any additional precautions or questions about the sick person’s care, contact their healthcare provider or your local or state health care department.
Providing Treatment To The Person Who Is Sick:
- Keep the sick person well hydrated by giving them a lot of fluids to drink each day.
- Make sure the sick person is getting adequate rest.
- Monitor their temperature daily.
- Use over-the-counter medications as advised by your healthcare provider and according to label directions.
- Most people with mild symptoms are sick for a few days and tend to be better after about 1 week. If the illness persists or worsens consult your healthcare provider for instructions.
- Keep a daily record of their treatment/progress i.e. temperature, symptom progression or relief etc.
When You Can End Home Isolation Of A Sick Person:
People who have the COVID-19 virus may end home isolation under the following conditions:
If they have not been tested for the Coronavirus or will not have a test to determine if they are still contagious, they may end self quarantine after these 3 things have occurred:
- The person who is sick has had no fever for at least 72 hours (3 full days) without using fever reducing medication and
- Other signs of illness have improved, i.e. cough or shortness of breath have gotten better or are no longer present and
- It has been at least 7 full days since the onset of the symptoms of the illness appeared.
If the person sick is willing to be tested for Coronavirus to determine if they are still contagious they may end self isolation after these 3 things have occurred:
- They no longer have a fever without the use of fever reducing medications and
- Other symptoms have gotten better or is no longer present, i.e. shortness of breath or cough is better and
- They have received 2 negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Their healthcare provider will follow CDC guidelines.