June 26, 2020
COVID-19 continues to be transmitted throughout Montana. As of Tuesday morning, there were 743 positive cases in Montana, but ZERO cases have been reported in Carter County. Also, the United States has now seen over 2.3 million cases of COVID-19, with 120,340 of those people dying.
The symptoms of COVID-19 seem to be similar to that of a common cold or influenza. However, COVID-19 appears to be more severe. The symptoms of COVID-19 can include cough, fever or chills, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body or muscle aches, headache, the new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. Most people have mild to moderate disease symptoms and do not require hospitalization.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, feel you may have been exposed, but don't feel like you need care in a hospital, you still need to contact your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can give you tips on how to care for yourself at home and educate you on warning signs that mean you need to seek emergency medical care.
If you are sick, there are steps you can take to prevent others in your household or the public from becoming ill. First of all, stay at home except to get medical care. You need to call your doctor's office before you go to an appointment to inform them that you have or may have COVID-19. This way, your doctor's office can prepare for you and have the proper protective equipment available and ready for use. Take care of yourself at home by getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated.
Protect yourself from others in your household by separating yourself from them. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. You should use a separate bathroom, if at all possible. When you are unable to separate, wear a mask or cloth face covering to protect others. Avoid sharing personal household items such as drinking glasses, dishes, eating utensils, towels or bedding.
If the sick person can, they should clean their bedroom and bathroom. If not, the caregiver should only clean those areas on an as-needed basis and should wear a mask and gloves when doing so. Other household members need to clean highly-used surfaces in the common areas with regular household cleaners and disinfectants.
Someone who has been treating their illness at home may still become severely ill and require emergency care. If you or a loved one begins to show signs of trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face seek emergency care immediately. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility if traveling by private auto. You must inform the operator you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
For more information, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html. But, the most valuable take away today is to always call ahead to the hospital or your doctor if you have or may have COVID-19.