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Should you stay or should you go?
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By Field Supervisor Stacey Holden
March 29, 2020

Many questions have come to light in regards to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Below is some information in regards to home care in event you are exhibiting viral respiratory infection symptoms, courtesy of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems & the CDC.

It is recommended to stay home in self quarantine in event your signs & symptoms do not require you to go to an emergency room for evaluation/treatment. It is important that you continue to treat your symptoms, monitor your own condition, and take steps to prevent spreading the infection to others.

Should you stay, you should follow the below steps:

 Stay home except to get medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
 Drink plenty of fluids to stay very well-hydrated. Drink non-carbonated fluids. Avoid alcohol.
 Take ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as needed for fever or body aches, unless you have previously been told not to use these medicines. For adults, the recommended dose for ibuprofen is 400 or 600 mg every 6 hours, and for acetaminophen the dose is 650 mg every 4 hours. For children, consult medication packaging for appropriate weight-based dosing.
 Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
 If you need follow-up care, call your healthcare provider before going there. Call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have the flu, COVID-19, or similar respiratory illness. Your health care provider may arrange a visit with you in person or via telehealth. Alerting your health care provider in this way will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
 Wear a facemask, if you have one, when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
 Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.
 Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
 Avoid sharing personal household items, such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils towels, or bedding with other people or pets. After using, wash them thoroughly.
 Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

You should go if:
 If you are in any way worsening

This could include, but is not limited to:
 high or persistent fevers
 vomiting
 trouble breathing or shortness of breath
 coughing up blood
 severe headaches
 neck pain/stiffness
 or any new or worsening symptoms or concerns.

Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider, if possible, and tell them that you have a respiratory infection. Put on a facemask before you enter any facility.

Please seek care by contacting your doctor, going to an urgent care center, or going to your nearest emergency department for further evaluation and treatment of your condition.

 If you unable to walk or you are experiencing shortness of breath that limits your ability to go by private car, please call 9-1-1.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 9-1-1, notify the operator that you have a respiratory infection. If possible, put on a facemask before EMS arrives.

Discontinuing home isolation:

If your doctor or local health department advises you to remain on home isolation precautions, please contact them for advice for when it is appropriate to discontinue this and resume normal daily activities.

If you have not been advised about home isolation precautions by your doctor or local health department, please stay home when you are sick and until there is no fever for a minimum of 24 hours without medicine like Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil.

Hyperlinks: CDC
MIEMSS
 

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