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COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) FAQs for Inquiring Patients

What do you do if you are worried that you have been exposed to COVID-19 but are without any symptoms?

If you develop symptoms that may indicate an infection, contact your physician. These include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Testing is not available for asymptomatic individuals, regardless of travel history.

To reduce the chance of getting sick use general infection prevention measures such as hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and discarding any tissues carefully, and staying home when you are sick. Wear a mask.

Should patients cancel or postpone an upcoming trip?

The decision about travel is personal and should be made in the context of a person’s underlying health conditions, reason for travel and necessity of travel.

Travel insurance generally does not cover cancellations due to concerns of infectious disease outbreaks.

The Center for Disease Control has a section on travel notices. Situations are changing frequently and you should monitor the site for updates.

Should situations change rapidly in a foreign country while they are traveling, you could be subject to quarantine or restrictions upon return to the United States. It is best to have a plan on how to return urgently if needed during a trip abroad.

Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses do not spread easily on airplanes. CDC does recommend use of facemasks during air travel.

Should facemasks be routinely worn?


What other general precautions are advised?

Patients should be instructed to:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Wear a mask whenever you are indoors (except within your home), within 6 feet of others, or if you are outdoors and cannot maintain distance.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Stay home from work or school when they are sick. If you have a fever, you should remain home until 24 hours after fever resolves.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Sneeze/cough into their elbow, not your hand.

Practice frequent hand hygiene with soap and water (at least 20 seconds) or alcohol-based hand rub.

Avoid crowded places or mass gatherings, especially if you are immunocompromised or have chronic lung disease.

Are there any special precautions that are recommended if I am pregnant?

There is not yet any information available about the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. As a general rule, pregnant women may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections and at risk for more severe illness.

The CDC guidance for COVID-19 and pregnancy has answers to questions about transmission during delivery, breastfeeding as well as other situations.

Should food, water, or medications be stockpiled? Should people telecommute?

The CDC has excellent information on this. Please visit the CDC’s guidance for getting your household ready for COVID-19.

What do I do if I’ve been exposed to a known confirmed COVID-19 case?

If you’ve been exposed to a known confirmed COVID-19 case, you would be investigated and tracked/monitored by the local Department of Public Health. The Department of Health will have jurisdiction and will provide you with specific instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms.

What should I do if I start feeling sick at work? And what should the workplace do for anyone exposed?

Anyone who is sick with a fever and cough should stay home from work until at least 24 hours after resolution of fever, regardless of concerns for COVID-19. It is still influenza (flu) season and influenza remains far more common.

from natedotphrase.com

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