Tips on what to do if you are sick or think you have been exposed to coronavirus

  • Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 4:30pm
  • News

The coronavirus outbreak continues with no cure, vaccine or end in sight. But we do have an idea about what can be done if you or somebody you know is feeling sick.

“Treatment it similar as to how you would treat the flu or any other respiratory virus,” a spokesperson at the Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services department said. “At this time, there is no medication for treating coronavirus.”

Public Health officials advise getting plenty of fluids and rest, eat healthful foods. Taking ibuprofen or Tylenol as directed can help to reduce a fever or relieve pain.

Additional things to have on hand are extra soap, tissues, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Also, if someone in your home regularly takes prescription drugs, as your providers to allow you to have an emergency, larger than usual supply of medications.

The state Department of Health has issued advisories on how to shelter in place for people who believe that they have been exposed to or have contracted coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Fever, cough and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of coronavirus. If you have been diagnosed with, believe you have been in contact with somebody who tested positive or believe you have coronavirus, the DOH guidance says to take the following steps.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.

Try to stay in one room away from other people in your home. And if possible, use a separate bathroom.

The DOH says you should restrict contact with pets and other animals while sick.

“Wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask if possible,” the DOH states and, if possible, have another person in your home care for the animal(s).

Stay home except to get medical care.

If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus, you should avoid activities outside your home, except to get medical care, according to the DOH.

“Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis,” the DOH guidance states

Call ahead before visiting your doctor.

Inform your health care provider that you may have coronavirus prior to an appointment. The provider can then take steps to avoid exposing others.

Wear a face mask.

When you’re around other people or pets, you should wear a mask if possible. Also wear a face mask before entering a health care providers office, if possible.

“If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not be in the same room with you, or they should wear a face mask if they enter your room,” the DOH guidance states.

Cover your coughs and sneezes and clean your hands often.

Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away. And wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, according to the guidance. If soap and water isn’t available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used to cover all surfaces of your hands. Also, try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean common areas often

This is important if one person in a multiple person household is sick.

Additional resources

The DOH has set up a website with multiple resources and answers to questions about coronavirus at www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus.

Public Health has more resources available online at healthygh.org/covid19.