Symptoms to look out for with COVID-19

· Nasal congestion, and/or sore throat, and/or Headache
· Cough
· Fever and/ or chills
· Fatigue with or without activities and/or generalized weakness
· Sudden loss of smell and/or taste
· Shortness of breath
· Muscle aches and pains
· Loss of appetite, and/or nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain
· Discoloration of fingers and toes, hands and feet and/or any new generalized rashes
· Confusion, or loss of balance, or localized muscle weakness

Testing for COVID 19 available in Fredericksburg

Check with your insurance regarding testing sites available.  Right now the most frequent testing available is a diagnostic test for viral RNA, which indicate the presence of viral genetic material in your upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, and mouth) while you are sick.  Testing for antibodies (blood) against the virus is recently available by commercial labs to look for immunity (past infection).

Negative Testing result and what it means

You have been sick and you test negative for COVID-19 (viral RNA), now what?  A negative test may mean that you were not infected at the time you were tested or that you may have tested early in the course of your illness and test can become positive later.   If you are sick, please presume that you have COVID-19 and self-isolate as mentioned below.  Please see Virginia Dept of Health COVID-19 testing for detailed explanation of different testings available and what does a positive and negative result may mean.

Practice self-care

  • Rest – it is important to get adequate rest and sleep. This will keep your immune system strong.
  • Drink plenty of fluids – Viral infections are dehydrating. Drink enough so that your urine is a normal pale color.
  • Take OTC (Over-the-counter) medications for symptoms if needed.
    • Tylenol for fever
    • Dextromethorphan (Delsym) for cough
    • Pseudoephdrine HCL (Sudafed) or phenylephrine HCL (Sudafed PE) for congestion

Antibiotics do not help with viral infections (unless your doctor prescribes it due to a secondary bacterial infection).

Separate yourself from others to prevent the spread of virus

If you have symptoms of a cold or flu, play it safe and act as if you have COVID-19.  Wear a mask whenever you are with others at home and avoid interactions with others for 14 days.  Follow the advice of public health authorities.  Even for those who aren’t ill, social distancing will avoid fueling this pandemic.  Please wear a mask out in public to protect others and yourself.

Proper use of masks/facial covering

The purpose of everyone wearing a mask with others is three fold. First is to protect others by keeping some of the virus in when you have symptoms or prior to having symptoms. Second, it acts to keep some of the virus out that is coming from others. Third, wearing a mask serves to remind you not to touch your face. If everyone wears a mask, then there are fewer viral droplets and aerosols in the air in enclosed spaces. When wearing a mask or face covering, it is important to remember not to touch your mask or your face under the mask.