If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your doctor for medical advice.
If you are experiencing a cough, a fever or are having difficulty breathing and are concerned that it may be the coronavirus / COVID-19, here are recommendations on what to do from our expert care team at St. Luke’s.
View our comparison chart showing the differences between COVID, allergies, cold and flu.
1. Stay at Home and Call Your Primary Health Care Provider
To prevent the potential risk of catching or spreading illness, remain at home if you feel sick or are experiencing symptoms, even if the symptoms are mild. Do not go to work, school or public places unless it is an emergency, and avoid public transportation. It is safe to visit your doctor’s office but if you are experiencing symptoms, call before you go to your doctor’s office or urgent care center and describe your symptoms over the phone. Your health care provider will inform you of the next steps to take from there.
If you feel you need medical assistance, call before you go to your doctor’s office or urgent care center and describe your symptoms over the phone. Your health care provider will inform you of the next steps to take from there.
For St. Luke’s patients, please do one of the following:
- Call your St. Luke’s Physician Group practice.
- Download the St. Luke’s app to utilize the video visit feature to connect with a doctor.
- For patients without a doctor, please call the St. Luke’s Coronavirus hotline at 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537), option 7.
St. Luke’s will continue to offer Virtual Visits for those patients who prefer to stay home and still be ‘seen’ by their provider.
2. Determine Your Risk for COVID-19 With Your Health Care Provider by Answering a Few Questions
If you have called your health care provider, they will ask you questions regarding your risk for coronavirus / COVID-19. We screen all patients for COVID-19 symptoms prior to appointment and convert suspected positive screens to virtual appointments.
St. Luke’s University Health Network hospitals or clinics are asking patients:
- Have you been within 6 feet of contact or exposed to coughing or sneezing with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Do you have a fever?
- Are you experiencing coughing or difficulty breathing?
- Has a public health officer said you were potentially exposed to COVID-19?
3. Listen to Your Health Care Provider’s Instructions
After providing the answers to your health care provider’s questions, they will give you instructions on what you need to do next. Depending on your risk for COVID-19, your health care provider will recommend one of the following to you:
- If you do not have a fever or respiratory symptoms, keep monitoring your health and call back if you develop either of the two.
- Stay home and wait for further instructions from your health care provider.
- Get an evaluation and treatment from a designated medical facility. Go to your appointment by yourself. Do not bring children or family members.
- If you're experiencing more severe symptoms like a higher fever and severe shortness of breath, seek emergency help.
4. Wash Your Hands and Cover Your Mouth
- Wear a mask if you are experiencing symptoms, and need to leave your home to go to a medical facility. You will be less likely to infect others if coughing and sneezing.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water routinely throughout the day, especially after, sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing, going to the bathroom or before cooking or eating.
- Use the bend of your elbow to cough or sneeze into, instead of your hand. If you use a tissue, immediately throw it away.
- Keep often-touched surfaces at home clean -- such as doorknobs and handles, tabletops, phones and keyboards. Use disinfectant.
5. Remain Calm
The unknown of having a contagious illness is scary. Take a deep breath and remain calm. Doctors, nurses and other caregivers are working to learn more about coronavirus / COVID-19 to be able to provide the care to patients and avoid spreading the illness in our communities.