What you need to know about COVID-19: Symptoms and response
The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. If a person suspects they might be infected but have not yet been tested, they should:
- Abstain from all public gatherings.
- Increase distance from close contacts by six feet — this reduces risk of transmission of the virus, which is spread mainly through coughing and sneezing.
- Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue then throw the tissue in the garbage.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
A person exhibiting symptoms should call a medical provider or nursing line before going to a hospital or clinic, which will advise the person on the proper procedure to seek care.
If a patient needs to be tested for COVID-19, the medical provider will collect a specimen from the patient’s nose and throat and send the samples to the state lab or a commercial lab that is capable of doing COVID-19 testing.
All people should:
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- Practice good hygiene.
- Stay home if you’re sick; keep your children home if they are sick.
- Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information. People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for answers in English, Spanish, Mandarin and more.
Before immediately heading to the hospital, people who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 have several resources, including:
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is providing a phone line to answer questions from the public about COVID-19. Call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911 or email email@example.com for answers in English and Spanish, Mandarin and more.
- UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center offers Ask-A-Nurse, a 24/7 call line staffed by registered nurses who can assess symptoms and provide advice on seeking care. In Routt County, Ask-A-Nurse can be reached by calling 970-871-7878.
- Virtual Visits can be done from the comfort of your home and only require a computer or tablet with a working webcam, speakers and microphone, or a smartphone.
- If patients are experiencing severe symptoms or having difficulty breathing, they should visit the hospital’s emergency department.
Take precautions in everyday life:
- Frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
- Clean surfaces in your home and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
- Be calm but be prepared.
- People should wear a mask when going out in public.
If you have questions about COVID-19, please let us know by emailing news@SteamboatPilot.com.
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