So, the symptoms that you know, the triad that we talk about is fever, everyone really should be taking her temperature. And, you know, the temperature that they should be looking at is 100.5 or higher. But temperature, cough and some type of respiratory symptoms like shortness of breath, that’s usually the three common ones that we look for. But there’s other ailments, too, now we’re finding out that you can feel like body aches, fatigue. So, those are the symptoms that you should be looking for. If you have any of these symptoms the first thing you should do is contact your primary care physician.
Yeah that’s a great question, right. I think that has like, several ramifications. So, number one is you can ask the health department because they have a list of physicians that want to accept patients, that’s number one. But, another one that you can go to is Comal County Medical Society and ask them. But there’s lots of primary care physicians you can call but, you know I do think that the number one thing you really need to do is contact a primary care physician that’s in the area, and there’s lots of them. Does that make sense?
If you’re experiencing significant symptoms like you’re short of breath, you can’t catch your breath if, you know, you’re worried then by all means you can go to the ER. But if you can, the ideal thing is for you not to go to the emergency room. The ideal thing is if you’re not feeling well, you should contact your primary care physician because the reality is, right now all the ER’s are going to be a bottleneck, right. And so, you really don’t want to go there because the treatment is going to be symptomatic and let me explain what that means. Right now, there is no proven method that we can say, “oh okay, we can treat you with this.” So, what they’re going to do is treat you symptomatically so if you’re not getting enough oxygen they’re going to give you oxygen. If you’re dehydrated, they’re going to give you IV fluids. And so, unless you absolutely need to go to the emergency room, you really should avoid going to emergency room. The first place you should really contact is your primary care physician.
Yeah so, the best way to get tested, if you should get tested, is that you need to contact your primary care physician. And then they can direct you correctly. We have a drive-thru testing that’s working through the health department here in Comal County. That’s one option. I know a lot of the practices like ours, we’re we’re testing when our patients come in, we have a strict protocol and how to do that. And so, the best thing for them to do is contact their primary care physician. The place that you really don’t want to go to try to get tested as the emergency rooms, we really don’t want the hospitals to be overwhelmed.
Stay home. You should not leave your home except for emergency medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public places. Do not use public transportation or taxis/ride shares.
Separate yourself from other people in your home. You should stay in a different room from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
Wear a face mask. Wear a face mask when you are in the same room with other people and when you visit a medical provider. If you cannot wear a face mask, other people in your home who are with you should wear one.
Avoid sharing household items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other household items with other people in your home.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and if your hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Monitor your symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to lower respiratory symptoms like cough, congestion and shortness of breath. Symptomatic treatment is recommended. Tylenol and fluids, rest and a healthy diet. If you experience moderate to severe shortness of breath, contact your medical provider immediately. If you are directed to a health care facility, call the facility beforehand and let them know of your impending arrival and of your current status as a COVID-19 suspect patient.
What if my test is positive? Most patients who test positive for COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory symptoms and recover with supportive care. If your test is positive, you will be home quarantined for at least 14 days. This timeframe may change based on the current CDC guidelines.
The Surgeon General has described “social isolation” as one way to limit your risk. In addition, “home quarantine” is being recommended for stable patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Social isolation” is one way of decreasing risk among patients. In simple terms, it means to control the people you come in contact with. Enjoy time with your family and friends, knowing if they are suspected of having COVID-19 coronavirus, or have been exposed to someone who has it, they should postpone contact with you. Large crowds should be avoided because people who are ill may not understand the risk they pose to you.
“Home quarantine” is only recommended for people that have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus or who have had close contact with a person who has tested positive. If you are advised to home quarantine, this guidance should be strictly followed as it means you are a risk to others, and should strictly stay at home for two full weeks. To quarantine at home means to eliminate any close contact with others. You should be confined to your home, unless there is a medical emergency. To prepare for this potential situation, make sure you have adequate supplies, including any critical medications. If you are concerned that you may not have your critical medications, please contact one of our staff who can help.
There’s been a lot of questions about the mode of transmission, and so forth. I think it depends on the setting. Obviously, the social distancing is important, 6 feet. Part of that is because you can get Covid-19 by respiratory droplets. But, the reality, especially right here is our good citizens of Comal County are doing a really good job of social distancing. So, the main mode of transmission that they’re going to get here is through your hands. If you’re sitting at home and going to H-E-B and you just doing your own thing and practicing safe social distancing, by far, the main mode of transmission is your hands. What makes this virus so infections is that it can live on inanimate objects for a long time. There are studies that show 24 hours, on some plastics it can last longer than that. And so, that’s the problem is that this is the mode of transmission. And so, we know that there’s only three ports of entry, through your eyes, through your nose and through your mouth. And so, if you think about it logically, if those are the three ports of entry, if you protect them, then you’re not going to get it. And by far the most common when you going to get it, the average citizen in Comal County, is through their hands. So, their hands going to get infected with Covid-19 and then they’re going to rub their eye, or the nose or their mouth and that’s how it’s going to get transmitted. People don’t know this but, they’ve done studies on how often we touch our face. It’s a very self-conscious thing that we do and, on average, you can touch your face between 250 to 300 times a day. So, you actually have to be, what I would really want everyone to do is be obsessive compulsive about their hands. About, you know, knowing where their hands have been and, honestly, the go-to thing is don’t touch your face. And if you have to touch your face wash your hands. Another thing is, at this time, if you think about “should I wash my hands,” you should wash your hands.
Yeah, I’m glad you asked that. I’d rather demonstrate it, and let me explain.
So, a cloth mask like this, I’m going to put it on for you. It’s really not to protect you from getting it but in case you have it, you don’t transmit it. But I think there’s a lot of issues with a cloth mask. I think that it’s a good idea for us to wear but let me show you some of the pitfalls of it. So, what I see a lot of people doing and they actually have pictures of our politicians doing the wrong thing too but, so when you have the mask on, when you have it right. And this is what people are doing all the time. I see them constantly. They do this and it goes below the nose and over here and then they’re constantly fiddling with it. They’re touching it. And so, let’s say you have this and now the virus is on your mask okay. And so all of a sudden you’re fiddling with it, you’re touching and I see people doing this all the time, and then you know it goes below their nose and all of a sudden they touch their nose. And so, that’s the part that is a little concerning right. If you put it on and you don’t touch it that’s a really good way because it’s a barrier method so you won’t touch your nose and your mouth. But what I see people doing incessantly is they’re constantly fumbling with their hands like this. And then it gets below and then slips off and then they touch their nose and now that it’s become counterproductive. And that’s the issue that’s a little concerning for healthcare workers is that yeah, if you wear it, put it on and then don’t touch it again and then when you take it off, if it’s cloth you have to wash it immediately before you put it back on again. And then immediately after that you wash your hands. Does that make sense?