COVID-19: Assessing Your Risk

Do You Have Risk Factors?

We’re in the time of year when different types of illnesses circulate — common colds, seasonal flu and allergies, to name a few. And the symptoms for these conditions can resemble COVID-19. 

The good news? Most people who do contract COVID-19 will not become seriously ill. If you do come down with the virus, you’ll likely experience mild respiratory symptoms, and you will recover. 

However, some people do have a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

  • Older adults (60+) 
  • People with severe chronic health or immunocompromised conditions, including:
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease (including asthma, COPD and emphysema)
    • Cancers
    • Hepatitis B
    • Kidney disease
    • Autoimmune conditions

In general, people with these risk factors are more likely to experience symptoms and complications when infected with a virus, including COVID-19. But they do NOT face a greater chance of contracting the virus. It’s just a bigger concern if they do.

Do You Need To Be Tested?

For most people, the simple answer is no — you won’t need to be tested for COVID-19 if you don’t have symptoms of respiratory illness. 

The CDC has outlined guidelines, which Three Rivers Health and health providers across the nation are adhering to, for the prioritization of COVID-19 tests, which are used for: 

  • Those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as a cough, fever or difficulty breathing

AND

  • Who have been in close contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19 or who has had a laboratory-confirmed positive test
  • Who have a high likelihood of being exposed through traveling or living in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

We’re still prioritizing testing for those in our communities who have a high risk for infection or who require more immediate medical attention. We’re also testing those who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and who’ve been in contact with someone who’s been infected.  

Think You Have Coronavirus?

If you’re sick, self-isolate by staying at home for 14 days to monitor your symptoms. Focus on getting rest, drinking lots of fluids and practicing good hand hygiene to keep yourself and others. Call your Primary Care Physician if:

  • You’re experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath
  • Your cold/flu symptoms last longer than 3 days
  • Your symptoms get worse

Been Diagnosed With Coronavirus?

If you receive a positive test result for COVID-19 and your symptoms are mild, here’s what to do:

  • Immediately self-isolate at home for 14 days
  • If you live with others, stay in a single, designated room away from family members and avoid contact with them for at least 14 days (and until you are completely well with no fever)
  • Wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth when you cough to prevent the spread of germs
  • Follow CDC guidelines for caring for yourself at home.

Head to the nearest ER if your symptoms are severe, worsen or if you have difficulty breathing

If possible, call the ER ahead of time to let them you know you are coming, and you have tested positive for COVID-19. If you’re alone or in distress, call 911.

Remain Calm

Taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally plays a big part in your overall health.

If we each do our part, we can work together to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our families, friends and neighbors healthy.

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