Staying Healthy During the COVID-19 Crisis

Submitted by Chesapeake Regional Healthcare on March 23, 2020

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What is Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses of varying severity from a mild "common cold" to a more severe illness like SARS, MERS-CoV and now the COVID-19. These viruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between people and animals.

COVID-19 is a new disease, cause by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.
 
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Know the symptoms of COVID-19

Contact your health care provider by phone before going to a clinic or hospital if you are experiencing such symptoms as:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Have come into contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 within 14 days of onset of any unusual symptoms. 

If you develop the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek medical attention immediately by calling 9-1-1 or visiting the closest Emergency Department

Emergency warning signs include**:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

**This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning (source CDC).

Do not visit the Emergency Department for COVID-19 testing. Emergency resources are needed for the most critical patients. 

Am I at risk?

Call your health care professional immediately if you feel any of the above symptoms, have difficulty breathing or have been in close contact with someone who was confirmed, or suspected, to have COVID-19.For more information on who is more at risk for COVID-19 complications and how to protect yourself, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html. 

How to Stop the Spread of Germs

You can do your part to keep yourself and your family safe, and prevent the community spread of this very serious and contagious virus, by following all current local, state and Federal government isolation regulations and:
  • Covering your sneeze or cough in your elbow
  • Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Quarantining yourself if you’re sick 
  • Staying home (unless you are essential personnel)
  • Avoiding travel and large gatherings
  • Practicing social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other people
  • Cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces with disinfectant
  • Cleaning your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds 
  • Using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available (make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol)

What to Do if You're Sick

  1. Stay home. If you are experiencing symptoms but do not need emergency care, stay home.
  2. Call your provider. If you are sick and may have been exposed to COVID-19, call your primary health care professional. 
  3. Get help. If you have a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, dry cough or are short of breath, and you've contact your primary health care professional, go to the hospital to be screened. 

Resources You Can Rely on For Accurate Information

In response to the evolving COVID-19 global public health situation, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and the Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program (VHEMP) have established a resource web page with Virginia-specific information, video content, informational links and a frequently asked question guide about preparations and precautions happening in the Commonwealth. The webpage can be accessed online here.
  • National resources: Please visit the Center for Disease Control's website for the most current national information and resources.

  • Virginia resources: The Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program (VHEMP) coordinates emergency preparedness across the Commonwealth. View their resources

  • North Carolina resources: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. View their resources

  • Regional resources: If you'd like information on COVID-19 screening guidelines, restaurant closings, childcare and other important information, please call the Health Department's Public Information Hotline: 757-683-2745.

  • City resources: Chesapeake Regional is participating with the City of Chesapeake's Unified Command for the COVID-19 response. The City of Chesapeake has a webpage for Chesapeake specific information. 

  • CRH resources: Follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ChesapeakeRegionalHealthcare/ to be notified of CRH updates immediately. 

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