By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department
With the increase in COVID-19 cases across the county, there are many questions about when you should seek medical help, when you should just treat your symptoms at home, and what to do if you test positive.
The CDC recommends that you stay home and self-isolate when you have minor symptoms such as cough, headache, and a mild fever. Consider testing to determine if it is COVID-19. Testing is available at various locations throughout the county, including at the Garrett County Health Department. Call 301-334-7697 to schedule an appointment.
Isolate until a negative PCR test rules out COVID-19, or for 14 days if you don’t get tested. Quarantine for at least 10 days from the beginning of symptoms if you test positive, and reach out to people you have been in close contact with so they can isolate and get tested as well.
The following are recommended to relieve symptoms and support your body’s natural defenses:
• Taking medications, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to reduce fever
• Drinking water or receiving intravenous fluids to stay hydrated
• Getting plenty of rest to help the body fight the virus
However, if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately by calling your medical provider. Especially watch for emergency warning signs for COVID-19 and seek emergency medical care immediately if you, or someone in your care, has any of the following symptoms:
• 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
• Or any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Checking in with your health care providers is important because you may be eligible for monoclonal antibody therapy. Several products have received Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection who are at high risk for progressing to severe disease and/or hospitalization. Treatment should start as soon as possible after the patient receives a positive test, and within 10 days after the start of symptoms.
Monoclonal antibody may also be considered for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are hospitalized for a reason other than COVID-19 if they otherwise meet the EUA criteria for outpatient treatment. It can also be used to prevent COVID-19. If a person is a close contact of a COVID-19 case and they fit into the high-risk criteria for monoclonal antibody therapy, they can receive an infusion to PREVENT COVID-19.
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