MDMC offers tips for those with symptoms
SIKESTON — As the number of coronavirus cases continue to climb in the area, the Missouri Delta Medical Center has released home care instructions for those who who feel they have symptoms and are not hospitalized, as well as those who care or come in contact with someone who has symptoms.
Information for patients who are not hospitalized:
1. STAY HOME. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care, until your healthcare provider says it is OK. Do not go to work, school or public areas and do not use public transportation.
2. SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR HOME. As much as possible, stay in a different room from other people in your home. If possible, use a separate bathroom. If you must be in the same room as other people, wear a facemask to prevent spreading germs to others.
3. BEFORE YOU VISIT YOUR DOCTORS, LET THEM KNOW. Call ahead before visiting your doctor so they can prepare for your visit.
4. COVER COUGHS & SNEEZES. To prevent spreading germs to others, when coughing or sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can and immediately wash hands with soap and water.
5. KEEP HANDS CLEAN. Wash hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and if hands are not visibly dirty. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Shower and change clothes daily.
6. AVOID SHARING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in the home. These items should be washed thoroughly after use with soap and warm water.
7. MONITOR ILLNESS. If illness gets worse (trouble breathing, pain in chest), get medical care right away. You were given today a 5 day work excuse. We will re-revaluate duration of work excuse as your labs result.
8. SUPPORTIVE CARE
a. Tylenol 325 mg every 4 hours as needed for fever.
b. It is okay to take Emergen C drinks (vitamin C & Zinc).
c. It is okay to take TheraFlu tea.
d. If you have hypertension monitor your blood pressure.
These recommendations should be followed: until tests show that you do not have novel coronavirus or 10 days after your fever goes away if your tests show that you have been infected.
People who live with or provide home care for these patients should:
1. Limit visitors to only people caring for the patient. As much as possible, anyone who is not caring for the patient should stay in another home or stay in other rooms. They should also use a separate bathroom if possible. Keep elderly people and those who have weak immune systems or chronic health conditions away from the person. This includes people with diabetes, chronic heart, lung or kidney conditions.
2. Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow. Open windows are use an air conditioner if possible.
3. Wash hands. People in the home should wash their hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating or after using the bathroom. 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 with unwashed hands. Shower daily and change clothes.
4. Wear disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) e.g., facemask, gown and gloves when you have contact with the patient’s blood, body fluids and/or secretions such as sweat, saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine or diarrhea. Throw these away after use and do not reuse. Wash hands thoroughly and immediately after removing your face mask, gown and gloves.
5. Avoid sharing items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with the patient.
6. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and beside tables every day using household disinfectants. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, body fluids and/or secretions or excretions on them. Follow the cleaning instructions below.
Cleaning Instructions: Follow the recommendations provided on cleaning product labels including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves or aprons and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
Use a diluted bleach solution or a household disinfectant with a label that says “EPA approved”. To make bleach solution at home, add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) of water. For a larger supply add . cup of bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
Wash laundry thoroughly.
Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, body fluids and/or secretions or excretions on them.
Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items. Wash your hands immediately and removing your gloves.
Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general wash and dry with the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.
Place all used disposable gloves, gowns, face masks and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing them with other household waste. Wash your hands immediately after handling these items.
7. Monitor the patient’s illness. If they are getting sicker (trouble breathing, pain in chest), call their medical provider and tell the medical staff that the person has or is being evaluated for COVID-19 infection. This will help the healthcare providers’ office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.
8. It is important to note that caregivers and household members who do not follow these instructions when in close contact with the patient may be considered to be “close contacts” and should monitor their health. Below is information for close contacts.
People who have had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for COVID-19 should:
Monitor your health. Start from the day you first had close contact with the patient and continue for 14 days after you last had close contact with the person. Watch for these signs and symptoms: Fever- take your temperature twice a day, coughing, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, other early symptoms to watch for are chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting and runny nose.
If you develop fever or any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away and let them know about being a close contact to a patient with COVID-19 so they can prepare for your visit. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state department.