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6/10/2020 - How to Take Care of Yourself and When to Get Medical Attention for People at Home with COVID-19 Symptoms

Cumberland County, NJ (June 8, 2020) – Cumberland County continues to see individuals test positive for COVID-19. The many cases are mild, and individuals who are sick can stay home and get better. Health officials recommend people with a mild illness “monitor their symptoms” at home but immediately contact their healthcare provider or seek emergency medical services if they begin to see a worsening of symptoms.

“We have seen patients that are experiencing mild symptoms and report they start to feel better, but then they suddenly get worse. We want to make sure people know how to recover safely at home when possible and when it is important to seek medical care” said Megan Sheppard, Health Officer of the Cumberland County Department of Health.

It’s important to immediately seek medical treatment if you notice your symptoms getting worse, or notice new symptoms occurring.

If you are at home, self-isolating, with COVID-19 symptoms, here are some things you can do to monitor and relieve your symptoms:

  • Keep track of your daily symptoms – and if you are feeling worse or better. Your doctor or other healthcare professionals may ask you when symptoms started so they can make the best decisions for your care.
  • Get medical help for serious respiratory symptoms, like shortness of breath. Shortness of breath and other respiratory symptoms are concerning, especially for individuals in high-risk groups. If you have shortness of breath while doing normal activities, you should contact your healthcare provider.
  • Ask family and friends to check in with you, if you live alone. It can be difficult to call for medical help if you are feeling worse, specifically for individuals who live alone. Family or friends can call for help if you need it.
  • Watch and treat your fever. Fever is a primary symptom of COVID-19. It’s important to monitor your fever several times a day to see if it is spiking or other information about it. Also, treating your fever with medicine is important – you are more likely to be able to hydrate and take care of yourself when you treat your fever.
  • Keep an eye out for back pain or stomach troubles. These are other symptoms of COVID-19, like fever, coughing, and shortness of breath and developing them may be cause of concern to your healthcare provider.
  • Stay hydrated! Stop smoking and drinking. Be sure to get rest. Maintaining fluids is important for your body to fight the virus. Dehydration is a lack of water and electrolyte minerals like sodium and potassium. Adding drinks like Gatorade and Pedialyte can help keep you hydrated. If you are sick and stop peeing, it is important to contact your doctor.
  • Continue to take care of other health issues. Chronic health issues can put you at higher risk for COVID-19. It’s important to continue to follow your doctor’s orders – don’t stop taking or change your medication without first consulting your doctor.

Although there are many questions about the coronavirus, we do know that these are specific things that people can do at home to manage their symptoms and monitor their health. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you believe you are feeling worse. Many physicians and primary care providers are offering telemedicine visits to their patients.

It is important for people in Cumberland County to continue practicing social distancing and wear face masks when they must go out. If you fall into the high risk category, stay at home when possible. If you are sick, stay home and self-isolate to keep from spreading the virus to those you live with. Avoid large gatherings or small gatherings in tight spaces. Continue to practice good hand hygiene, wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Disinfect high touch surfaces like counters, tables, light switches, computers, phones, keys, and bathroom surfaces.

If you need COVID-19 testing, you can visit www.completecarenj.org/request-an-appointment/ to speak with a medical provider so you can receive an appointment from the Cumberland County Department of Health. After your telephone consultation, visit www.ccdoh.org to fill out a consent form to speed up the process.

The Cumberland County Department of Health will be seeing walk-in patients at the Bridgeton Riverfront Park on Friday June 12th, Friday June 19th, and Friday June 26th between 10 AM and 12 PM.

Find more information on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CCDOH.