ATTENTION PATIENTS

St. Martin’s Healthcare recognizes that many people have concerns and questions about symptoms and risk of contracting COVID-19. The majority of people have minor symptoms and do not require medical care or testing. Individuals with minor symptoms are advised to stay home rather than seek testing or medical care.

This information has been developed to help you understand when to seek care.

If you have:

  • Cough
  • and
  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • and
  • Traveled to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran, or are concerned that you have been exposed through other contact
  • and
  • Do NOT have difficulty breathing

You should:

  • Stay home with support in isolation.
  • Rest, stay hydrated, use ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed for fever.
  • If you have questions, call St. Martin’s Healthcare at (260) 357-0077 for phone screening. Performing a screening over the phone will allow medical review while limiting exposure to others.

If you have:

  • Cough
  • and
  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • and
  • Traveled to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran, or are concerned that you have been exposed through other contact
  • and
  • Do NOT have difficulty breathing

You should:

  • Call St. Martin’s Healthcare TODAY at (260) 357-0077 for a phone screening. Performing a screening over the phone will allow medical review while limiting exposure to others. If it’s determined that you need to be seen in person, you will receive instructions on when to come to the clinic to be seen.

If you have:

  • Cough
  • and
  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • and
  • Traveled to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran, or are concerned that you have been exposed through other contact
  • and
  • Do have difficulty breathing

You should:

  • Seek care at an emergency department.

About COVID-19

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. However, some viruses can live on surface for several days. Wiping down door knobs, telephones, elevator buttons, ~anything touched similar to this is a good practice

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some that are not sure where or how they became infected.

Who is at HIGHER RISK

  • Older adults
  • People who have chronic medical conditions such as
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Diabetes

Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick

  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
  • Take frequent drinks of water
  • It is thought that the virus attaches to dry mucous membranes. Frequent sips help eliminate this dryness and the virus is killed by the enzymes in your stomach