Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause from mild to serious respiratory infections. COVID-19 is the most recently discovered form of coronavirus. This new virus and disease was unknown before the December 2019 outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep a distance of about 6 feet.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
Only wear a mask if you are looking after a person who may have COVID-19 or if you are ill with symptoms, such as coughing. The World Health Organization advises against masks unless they are necessary to conserve resources. The most effective ways to protect yourself include frequent hand washing, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or inside of elbow and keeping surfaces clean. (See previous question for more detail.)
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
Stay home except to get medical care. Avoid public areas and do not use public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
Call ahead to let the doctor’s office know that you have or may have COVID-19. Wear a facemask before you enter your health provider’s office.
Monitor your symptoms. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. if you have difficulty breathing).
If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.
Stay at home, in isolation, until the risk of secondary transmission is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and your state and local health departments.
While in home isolation, stay away from other people in your home. Stay in a specific room as much as possible and use a separate bathroom, if available. Limit contact with pets.
Avoid sharing personal items, such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
Practice routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.
For more information on steps to take if you become sick with COVID-19, go to the CDC website.
We take every precaution possible to provide a safe environment for any emergency. With COVID-19, we are taking extra measures to ensure the health and safety of patients, patient families and our staff. We are following the guidelines of the State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our local Infection Control and Prevention Team. If you feel like you are sick, please contact your healthcare provider first to receive next steps. Please do not go to the emergency room.