As COVID-19 testing ramps up across the nation and Iowa, individuals should expect to see more and more positive cases, but that is not a cause for panic.
“Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience only mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment,” said Kara Wellington, chief clinical officer at Loring Hospital. “If you feel you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it’s important to refrain from panicking, and instead, stay home and self-isolate from others. The time to call your healthcare provider or seek urgent care is if you experience an emergency warning sign such as trouble breathing.”
The best way to prevent and slow transmission is to be well informed about COVID-19. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently, staying home when ill, practicing social distancing, avoiding social gatherings and not touching your face.
“Loring Hospital will continue to educate and be a resource for information,” added Wellington. “If we all work together and support each other to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we can help make a difference for everyone.”
Please follow the guidelines below when considering whether or not to seek medical care or testing if you're experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.
IF YOU FEEL YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19
Stay home if:
- You are feeling mostly fine
- Are experiencing mild to moderate respiratory symptoms
Stay home and call your doctor for advice if:
- You are feeling sick, but would not have sought care under normal circumstances.
Call your doctor or seek medical care if:
- You feel sick, have a fever over 100.4 degrees F and believe you have an emergency
- If you do not have a provider, call your local public health department. If you still need help, call your local emergency department.
HOW TO GET TESTED
If you have interacted with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and wish to be tested:
- Call your primary healthcare provider to discuss symptoms and set up an appointment
- Visit TestIowa.com to conduct a self-assessment and determine the closest drive-through testing location near you.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS of COVID-19?
In combination, symptoms of the COVID-19 virus include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow; do not use your hands!
- Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas.
- If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Iowa Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization