Connecticut is in a state of emergency, schools are in a state of flux, in-person meetings are canceled, and people are concerned. Of course, those of us with a primary immune deficiency (and anyone with an impaired immune system) need to take special care. But, friends of mine have asked what to do if they think they have COVID-19 and I couldn’t find information. So, for them and for you, here it is.
1 Know the difference between the various respiratory infections
2 DO NOT go to the emergency department or walk-in center without calling first. They will give you instructions.
3 DO call 911 if you or a loved one cannot breathe. That is a life-threatening emergency and first responders know what to do.
4 DO Call your primary health care provider — one who knows you. She or he will be best able to provide you with an over-the-phone evaluation and give you advice based on your health condition and any risk factors.
5 What if you do not have a primary health care provider, or if no one calls you back?
There are three statewide COVID-19 Hotlines:
Yale New Haven Hospital: tel: 833-275-9644 Monday to Friday 7a to 7p
Hartford Hospital: tel: 860-972-8100 24-hours, 7 days
State of Connecticut: 211 is the general information number
State of CT COVID-19 site: click here
Yale COVID-19 site: click here
Hartford Healthcare COVID-19 site: click here
6 DO let a health care provider advise you on whether you need to be tested. Just like any laboratory test, the COVID-19 test requires an order from a health care provider. And, the challenge is that the test requires using a swab to take a sample of mucus from deep inside your nose, and another swab of your throat. Collecting these samples can expose the health care provider to the virus, so the person performing the swabs must wear special protective gear. While it’s easy for the patient, the process is complex in order to protect the provider.
7 Take care of yourself. Remember to breathe. It’s a frightening time for all of us. Remember, too, that our family members are scared for us. They don’t want to see us sick, and they are afraid they could bring this virus home.
So, take it easy, stay close to home and find something good to binge watch!