Are You High Risk?
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Those over the age of 65 and people who have an underlying medical condition (such as heart disease, diabetes, HIV, etc.) are more at risk for severe illness. See our Social Distancing page for more information on how this could affect you and your loved ones.
What Are the Symptoms?
One of the reasons this virus is so tricky to catch is that the symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath) are often similar to symptoms shown by someone who has a common cold or the flu. These symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days of exposure, but it is believed that you may still be a carrier after exposure even if you don’t show signs of the sickness yourself. That is why social distancing is so important right now.
If you experience any emergency symptoms (trouble breathing, persistent pain in the chest, bluish lips or face, or new confusion) get medical attention immediately.
If you know or think you may have COVID-19, stay home except for medical appointments.
Call ahead to medical appointments and tell them your symptoms or if you’ve been tested, tell them you are awaiting results or have a confirmed case.
Wear a face mask if you can. This greatly reduces the spread of the virus.
Cover your coughs and sneezes.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If this is not an available option for you, use hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content.
Monitor your symptoms. If they worsen, call your doctor before coming in.
Try to isolate yourself from others in your home as much as possible. This is not easy and may not be possible in your living situation, but it helps keep your loved ones safe.
Caring for an Infected Person
Be sure that you understand the physician’s care instructions and suggested medicine dosage.
Ensure that the infected person maintains strict quarantine protocols, even when they start to feel better.
If you or the infected person has a medical emergency or their symptoms worsen, make sure you notify any medical personnel of your situation prior to visiting an office, the hospital, or riding in an ambulance.
Observe proper hand hygiene (wash often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when possible, otherwise use a hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content).
Avoid sharing objects with the infected person as much as possible.
Have the infected person wear a face mask when around others if possible. If not, you and others caring for them should wear face masks when around the infected person.
Clean high-touch surfaces often. These include door handles, railings, sinks, faucets, phones, toilets, tablets, etc. A simple household cleaning solution is enough to help deter the virus.
If you can, separate the person from you and anyone else in your house. If you have the space, give them a separate room to sleep in and a designated bathroom. Sharing commonly used spaces with an infected person is the easiest way to catch the virus yourself.
The CDC recommends creating a good ventilation system throughout your house. Simply opening windows can do a lot to slow the spread.
All nonessential visitors should not enter your house.
Since there is still more to be learned about this specific Coronavirus, it is advised that the infected person avoid caring for pets.
Wash and dry clothes and linens promptly and safely. Wearing gloves and keeping any soiled linens away from your body helps to keep yo safe. Wash your hands immediately after handling laundry from an infected person.