Communities across the country are fighting outbreaks of COVID-19, and while staying home as much as possible is the best way to slow the spread, if you’re having a medical emergency, the emergency department is still the best place to receive care.
Whether you think you’ve contracted the virus or need to see a doctor for another urgent medical need, it’s important to always know when to go to the emergency department.
What should you do if you think you are sick with COVID-19?
Consider your symptoms.
Call your doctor if you’ve been in contact with someone who already has COVID-19 or has traveled to an affected region and with 14 days you develop the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Emergency departments do not have a cure for COVID-19. If you are experiencing a fever that responds to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen, and you are young and otherwise healthy, treat yourself as you would for a bad cold or flu.
If your symptoms are mild, contact your primary care physician to discuss your best options for care.
Call 911 or visit your closest emergency department if:
You’re experiencing a medical emergency or you’re severely sick and you are a high-risk individual, such as an older patient or a person with an already weakened immune system.
If you experience any of the warning signs below, 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