Coronavirus (COVID-19): Stay Informed and Stay Healthy. LEARN MORE
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Staying Informed About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Last Updated July 13, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to be a serious public health issue. Quantum Health is closely monitoring the situation, with guidance from leading public health organizations, to ensure that we provide the most up-to-date information and guidelines for our clients, members and employees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides current information on COVID-19, including understanding symptoms, how to stay healthy, and when to call or visit your healthcare provider. A list of the newest guidance can be found at the CDC's What's New page.

Know the symptoms

People with COVID-19 have reported a range of symptoms — from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will update its list as it learns more about COVID-19.

Call your healthcare provider if:

You develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19; OR you have recently traveled from an area with a wide spread of COVID-19. Click here for information on community spread of COVID-19.

When to seek medical attention

Look for emergency warning signs* of COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face
*This is not a list of all possible symptoms.

Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Keep yourself and others healthy

To ensure you know how to protect yourself, the CDC offers guidance, including information on spread, steps to protect you and others, and other everyday precautions.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks
  • When these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or are possibly inhaled into the lungs
  • Recent studies suggest that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms
Wash your hands often
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands, and rub them together until they feel dry
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public (e.g., going to the grocery store)
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected
  • Do NOT use a face mask meant for a healthcare worker
  • Continue to keep about six feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing
Cover coughs and sneezes
  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
Clean and disinfect
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work
Monitor your health
  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. This is especially important if you are running essential errands or going into the office or workplace, or if you are in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of six feet
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop. Don't take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop

Understand if you are at higher risk

COVID-19 is a new disease, and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Go here to learn more.

Based on what we know now, those at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:
People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • Many conditions can cause a person to become immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune system–weakening medications
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease

Travel recommendations

The CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing, especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don't travel if you are sick, and don't travel with someone else who is sick.

COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

Follow state and local travel restrictions. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or local health departments where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination. It is possible a state or local government could implement travel restrictions while you are traveling; these include stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures. Plan to keep checking for updates as you travel.

Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. We don't know if one type of travel is safer than others; however, airports, bus stations, train stations and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel, which includes avoiding plane trips and embarking on cruise ships in particular. Planes and cruise ships are also places where it can be hard to social distance (keep six feet apart from other people). Consider the following risks for getting or spreading COVID-19, depending on how you travel:

  • Air travel: Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within six feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Bus or train travel: Traveling on buses and trains for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within six feet of others
  • Car travel: Making stops along the way for gas, food or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and surfaces
  • RV travel: You may have to stop less often for food or bathroom breaks, but RV travel typically means staying at RV parks overnight and getting gas and supplies at other public places. These stops may put you and those with you in the RV in close contact with others

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some healthcare systems are overwhelmed, and there may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting noncitizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights, and in-country travel may be unpredictable. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be disrupted, and you may have to remain outside the United States for an indefinite length of time. For Travel Health Notice levels and travel guidance by country, the most current and comprehensive outline can be found here.

Testing for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19:
Diagnostic Tests and Antibody Blood Tests.
  • Diagnostic Test

    Diagnostic tests check samples from the respiratory system (such as swabs of the inside of the nose) to tell if there is an infection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19

    The map here includes states and territories with at least one laboratory that has successfully verified and is currently using COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Contact your state health department with any questions about testing.

  • Antibody Blood Tests

    Antibody blood tests, also called serologic tests, check the blood for antibodies that would show in the event of a previous infection. An antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. We do not yet know if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last

    The CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments or healthcare providers.

    Those testing positive or negative for COVID-19, no matter the type of test, should still take preventive measures to protect themselves and others.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing helps to identify people who may have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. This monitoring process provides identification and accurate contact information to inform status, health implications, and next steps in order to help individuals get treatment and further prevent the transmission of COVID-19. This CDC guidance for COVID-19 may be adapted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances.

We Can All Do Our Part

We all need to do our part to understand, help slow the spread, and ultimately reduce the impact of COVID-19 for ourselves, our families and our communities. Families can plan and make decisions now for their households that will help to protect members of the family. Businesses can decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in the workplace by reducing transmission among employees, maintaining healthy business operations, and maintaining a healthy work environment.

For the latest information and guidance about COVID-19, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Quantum Health is committed to monitoring this evolving situation, and we will keep our members, clients and employees updated on new developments.

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