Dr. Thomas Halloran of Danville offers these guidelines for those concerned about the spread of COVID-19.

What do I do today, in the time of coronavirus?

This is a new and serious virus which is worldwide, affecting people in the United States, in every state. It is best not to get it. You have an opportunity right now to control your risk of getting it.

Everyone who gets this virus gets it from someone who has it already. So how do you protect yourself? How do you protect your family? How do you protect your community?

What you do in the next few days and weeks is crucial to your health, and the health of your loved ones. Be serious about it.

Protection for yourself and your family is your priority, and largely comes from your own actions, and habits that you can adopt right now. Hunker down, be patient, wait it out.

Wash your hands many times per day, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and warm water.

Avoid people who have the virus. The trouble is you cannot always tell who has it. It is best to assume that anyone you are around has a chance of having it, and could give it to you.

Don’t shake hands or hug. Don’t touch people, or things they have touched

Stay in your own home and discourage visitors, outside family, and friends from coming in

Don’t be out in public. Don’t go to church. Don’t go out to dinner, for coffee, or for a drink.

Avoid meetings, movies, social gatherings, the gym, events of any kind.

Avoid sitting in waiting rooms, standing in lines, lingering where there are people.

You and your employer will be deciding how to handle that part of your life and your job.

Any time you must venture from home, make it short and to the point, don’t stop to chat. Do your business and return home. Try to do it at off-hours, so person contact will be less.

Encourage those in your care and those around you to adopt these protective things too

Testing has not been readily available, and typically does not alter therapy, which is mostly guided by symptoms.

There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for this virus. There are no antibiotics that help. Symptom control for most people who have a fever, sore throat, aches, dry cough is best with over-the-counter meds such as acetaminophen, cough drops, cough syrup. You might want to have some already on hand. If those are your symptoms, begin self-care. Cover your cough. Rest. Stay home. Isolate yourself as best you can. Don’t spread the virus to others inside your home or out.

If you are having serious medical complications such as shortness of breath, then testing and hospital care may be needed. Call your medical provider to get advice on what to do and where to do it.

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