How does the virus spread and what are the symptoms?
COVID-19 is spread through close personal contact (like shaking hands or touching a surface with the virus on it). Symptoms can range from very mild to severe and are similar to many other illnesses like the flu, which makes it hard to know if you have it. That’s why having a history of travel or being exposed to someone who has COVID-19 is an important way to tell the difference. Common symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms typically appear 2-14 days after exposure and based on current data, many cases are mild, and people fully recover.
Am I at risk for COVID-19?
For most people, the immediate risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is thought to be low. However, if you have a history of recent travel to an area with an outbreak, you may be at higher risk. If you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 then you may also be at higher risk. If this is the case, stay home for 14 days and seek care if you start to experience symptoms. Smart habits like frequent hand washing and social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people) will also lower your risk of getting sick.
Out of hand sanitizer? Don’t worry, washing your hands for 30 seconds with warm water and soap is effective in preventing the virus. Cleaning your cell phone with a disinfecting wipe is another great habit to practice!
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
If you have the symptoms listed above (high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath) and have been exposed to someone with the virus, please contact your primary care provider who can advise you on whether you need testing if you have symptoms and what you should do next. If you do feel sick, we first suggest self-quarantining to help avoid spreading the virus. In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider AND your local health department.
What do I do if I need a doctor’s note to work from home?
Please call the office for a doctor’s note should you need one and we will do our best to get you one.
Should I avoid traveling right now?
Our government is currently discouraging any nonessential travel and has issued travel advisories for many countries. This is especially important for the elderly and anyone with serious medical conditions, and cruise travel is specifically advised against because of increased risk of spread in this environment.