Posted: March 20, 2020
Date: March 20, 2020
COVID-19 is circulating in Iowa communities and many more Iowans are likely to become ill in the coming weeks. There are many questions in the community regarding who should be tested for the COVID-19 virus. To clarify and alleviate concerns in our communities, the Clayton County Healthcare Coalition would like to share this information with you.
Not everyone in the community who becomes ill needs to have the COVID-19 testing completed. 80% of the cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate illness symptoms (low grade fever, cough, shortness of breath) and will recover completely by following these recommendations:
- Stay home for at least 7 days from the start of your illness and have a normal temperature for 3 full days without the aid of fever reducing medication such as Tylenol
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink plenty of fluids to remain hydrated
- Isolate yourself from other family members in your home as much as possible
Additionally, if you are experiencing mild to moderate illness symptoms that are manageable at home, the Iowa Department of Public Health is not recommending you have a COVID-19 test or a work release from your medical provider. If your occupation falls into the category of “Essential Service Personnel” such as healthcare professionals, law enforcement, fire & EMS, or long-term care and residential personnel, you may need to be tested according to your employer’s policies and can check directly with your employer on what those work policies are.
If you develop a temperature of 100.4 F or higher, your symptoms worsen or you experience shortness of breath, please call your medical provider or local hospital to be evaluated over the phone. Your medical provider will determine if you need to be seen and/or receive a test. Please remember to call your medical clinic or local hospital before arriving as they may want you to enter thru a designated entrance to protect the other patients in the waiting rooms. If you experience a medical emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency room for guidance.
It is recommended that Iowans self-isolate for 14 days in the following situations:
- If you have been on a cruise anywhere in the world in the last 14 days
- If you have traveled internationally in the last 14 days to a country with a Level 3 Travel Warning in place. Please refer to the CDC website (cdc.gov) for travel warning information as it can change rapidly.
- If you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19
What does self-isolation mean?
- Stay home and do not go to school, public areas or attend gatherings.
- Do not use public transportation, ride sharing, or taxis.
- Postpone all non-essential travel.
- Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
- Postpone all non-essential medical appointments until you have completed your 14 days of self- isolation. If you have an essential medical appointment during this time, please work with your healthcare provider and local public health professionals, as needed, to help coordinate the visit.
What should I be watching for during self-isolation?
- Take your temperature twice a day. Watch for a fever.
- Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.
What about the people I live with?
- Family members or other persons who reside in your home may remain in your home, but you should stay in a specific room away from others and use a separate bathroom (if available).
- As long as you remain healthy, the other persons in your home can go about their daily activities as normal. There is no restriction on their movement.
- You should not have direct contact with any animals (i.e., dogs, cats, pigs, cattle, sheep and goats) out of an abundance of caution. Arrange for your pets to be cared for and housed outside of your home, if possible.
For updated information on COVID-19, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus
Follow the Department on Facebook @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter @IAPublicHealth.