By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

What to do if you get sick with COVID-19

The Oregon Health Authority and Yamhill County are posting guidelines for people sick at home with COVID-19.

The state has set up a call line, 866-917-881, for people with questions, either about health information, how to isolate, or how to notify their close contacts. It is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Guidelines call for staying home for at least five days after testing or becoming ill and 24 hours after fever has ended, without the use of fever-lowering medications; avoiding contact with others as much as possible. People should not leave their homes except for medical care, or use public transportation while in isolation.

People who need food and are unable to have it delivered may call the county to seek assistance, at 503-434-7525.

The county recommends rest, and staying hydrated while ill, and using over the counter medications to manage symptoms.

“Monitor your symptoms closely and call your doctor or healthcare provider if you are having trouble breathing or any other emergency warning signs, or you think it is an emergency,” the website advises.

“You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following emergency warning signs:

Trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

This list is not all possible symptoms. Call a medical provider for any other severe symptoms or symptoms that are concerning to you.”

If a medical emergency develops, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises calling 911, and notifying the dispatcher that you have COVID-19.

The CDC also offers advice, which the county page links to, at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.

It recommends the following:

“As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask.”

Cover coughs and sneezes, the CDC says, and immediately discard used tissues, then wash your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitizer.

Avoid sharing “personal household items,” such as cups and eating utensils, towels and bedding, with others, it says, and wash all items thoroughly after use.

It recommends that “high touch” surfaces in the sick room and bathroom should be cleaned often, preferably by the sick person, wearing disposable gloves, while others may clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas.

However, if a caregiver needs to do the cleaning and disinfecting of the sick person’s spaces, the CDC advises, “they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and disposable gloves prior to cleaning. They should wait as long as possible after the person who is sick has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.”

It recommends cleaning first with soap and water, followed by a “household disinfectant,” defines high touch surfaces as “phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.”

The CDC notes that you are unlikely to contract COVID-19 from pets, but they can catch it from you. Don’t use hand sanitizer, alcohol or other disinfectants on pets, and don’t put a mask on them. However, if possible, avoid close contact until you have recovered.

Most pets experience mild illness from COVID-19, but a few have become severely ill, so if you believe your pet is sick, keep an eye on them, and consult your veterinarian. Symptoms may include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy, sneezing, runny nose or eyes, vomiting or diarrhea.

If you are infected with COVID-19 and believe your pet needs to see a veterinarian, call, explain your own COVID-positive status, and request a telehealth appointment or other accommodation.

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