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Geisinger urges keeping to yourself if you feel sick

DANVILLE — To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Geisinger is stressing the importance of keeping to yourself if you’re sick and especially if you think you have novel coronavirus symptoms. Whether you’re waiting to be tested for COVID-19, you’re waiting for your test results or you’ve tested positive, staying by yourself and away from others is the key to protecting everyone around you.

“If you think you have the infection, that’s when you want to start these measures,” said Stanley Martin, M.D., director of Geisinger’s infectious disease team. “If you go to get tested, you don’t want to wait until you get the test results to start self-quarantining. As soon as you feel sick, that’s when you want to start with these measures.”

In the outpatient setting, Martin said, it can take several days to get COVID-19 test results.

Martin said there are tips for how you can most effectively keep from spreading infection:

–Stay at home. Stay in a single room away from others. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.

–Don’t share personal household items. Use your own set of dishes, utensils, towels, bedding and other household items. Wash them thoroughly after use.

–Clean all “high-touch” surfaces in your home daily, including counters, tables, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, keyboards and tablets.

–Clean your hands thoroughly and frequently. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

–Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

–Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues into a lined trash can, then wash your hands right away.

–Tell anyone else that you’ve been in contact with that you may have contracted COVID-19. They should follow the recommendations above and monitor their health for any signs of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath).

While you’re staying by yourself, it’s important to continue monitoring your symptoms. Learn more here about how to do that. The only time you should leave your home is if you aren’t feeling well and need medical care.

Emergency symptoms of COVID-19 include:

–Severe difficulty breathing

–Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

–Bluish lips or skin

–Sudden confusion or inability to awaken

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

PLEASE CALL FIRST

Geisinger experts continue to ask that before visiting a doctor’s office, convenient care clinic or emergency department, people call their primary care doctor’s office or Geisinger’s 24/7 novel coronavirus hotline at 570-284-3657 if they may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or if they have:

–Cough

–Fever

–Shortness of breath

For general questions and information about COVID-19, people can visit geisinger.org/coronavirus. Using these resources before going to a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic or emergency department can help lessen the possible spread of the virus.

For additional information about COVID-19, visit Geisinger’s Coronavirus Resource Center at geisinger.org/coronavirus.

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