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Feeling sick? Staying home may be safer

If you’re experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness and are concerned about COVID-19, your first instinct is probably to see a doctor.

But for now it may be better to stay home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Call your physician to share details about your symptoms first. If you’re instructed to stay home, you should do so.

Why is staying home beneficial?

Not everyone can be tested for COVID-19, and walking in to a clinic or hospital won’t guarantee testing. What’s more, medical facilities in your area may already be managing a surge of critically ill patients.   

Many cases of COVID-19 are mild, according to the CDC, and people can recover at home.

What should you do at home?

The CDC has guidelines for recovering at home and keeping your family safe. Here’s what to do:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home (known as home isolation).
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Wear a facemask when you’re around other people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces daily.
  • Monitor your symptoms.

The CDC also offers guidelines for discontinuing home isolation.

Who should not stay home?

Your healthcare provider is your best resource for information. If they advise you to seek further treatment, do it.

People experiencing emergency symptoms should always seek immediate medical treatment. Those symptoms can include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

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