TEST1 - MCR Health

COVID-19 Coronavirus Resource Center

Serving Manatee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Lee and Hardee Counties

At MCR Health, we are prepared to keep the community safe as information on the Coronavirus develops.

 

We are here for you

 

Know the Symptoms

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 

 

Prevention & Awareness

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid Close Contact

Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.

Wear A Cloth Face Cover or Facemask When Around Others

Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Clean and disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

 

How to
Seek Care

Seek medical attention: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).

Call your doctor: Before seeking care, call to request an evaluation. If you are already in the process of being evaluated, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19.

Wear a facemask when sick: Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.

These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

Alert health department: Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

MCR Coronavirus FAQ

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Basics

What is a novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Why is the disease being called coronavirus 2019, COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.

Why might someone blame or avoid individuals and groups (create stigma) because of COVID-19?

People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.

Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem

How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?

People can fight stigma and help (not hurt) others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts—about how viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads—can help stop stigma.

How COVID-19 Spreads

What is the source of the virus?

The novel (new) coronavirus that first appeared in China had never been seen before, so it quickly gained the attention of scientists around the world.

Epidemiologists did field investigations to find out how the new virus started. They conducted surveys in the community and in health facilities and collected nose and throat specimens for lab analyses. These investigations showed them who was infected, when they became sick, and where they had been just before they got sick.

Using this information, epidemiologists determined that the virus possibly came from an animal sold at a market. The new virus was found to be a coronavirus, and coronaviruses cause a severe acute respiratory syndrome. This new coronavirus is similar to SARS-CoV, so it was named SARS-CoV-2 The disease caused by the virus was named COVID-19 (COronVIrusDisease-2019) to show that it was discovered in 2019.

An outbreak is called an epidemic when there is a sudden increase in cases. As COVID-19 began spreading in Wuhan, China, it became an epidemic. Because the disease then spread across several countries and affected a large number of people, it was classified as a pandemic.

How does the virus spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

The virus can also spread when someone touches a surface that has droplets of COVID-19 and someone touches their eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that picked up the virus from an infected surface. This is why it is highly recommended to wash your hands after touching a “high contact surface” such as a door handle or elevator button.

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

Yes. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person to person. The CDC recommendations on quarantine are based on vaccination status, and if there was close contact with someone who has COVID. These people should stay at home for five days after the last exposure and continue to wear a mask for another five.

Fully vaccinated individuals who show no symptoms of COVID-19 do NOT need to stay at home. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if there are no symptoms, and wear a mask for five days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

Yes. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. As of December 27, 2021, the CDC has updated its guidelines for the general population.

Significantly, the CDC has reduced the quarantine time period from ten days to five days now. If asymptotic then one can proceed to wear a mask around others. The explanation given is that according to scientific data a majority of transmission of the virus occurs early, often in 1-2 days prior to the appearance of symptoms and 2-3 days afterward.

In addition, the length of quarantine is recommended on vaccination status. Unvaccinated people or those who have not received a vaccine for more than six months are required to be quarantined for five days; and then followed by another five days of wearing a mask. For people who are vaccinated, they do not need to be quarantined, but should wear a mask around others for ten days. If symptoms do appear, then it is advised to quarantine and wait for a negative test result before leaving the house again.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

What is community spread?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Updated Quarantine Information

According to the CDC, if you test positive for COVID-19 it is recommended to quarantine away from people you live with, especially people who are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. Avoid people both inside your home and outside for at least 10 days.

Wearing a mask around others is important while sick, but if you are unable to wear a mask it is recommended to quarantine for 10 days.

Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask, these places can be restaurants and gyms.

Moreover, a question some people may have, is how to calculate sick time to know how long to quarantine for. If someone has symptoms, the CDC says when first signs of symptoms appear that day is considered day 0. If symptoms such as a fever do not go away after 5 days, then it is advised to wait until the fever goes away for at least 24 hours.

The CDC recommends if someone has access to an antigen test towards the end of the 5-day period. The test should only be collected if there no fever has been present for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. If the test result is positive then continue to stay away from people, if the test comes back negative then you can safely into public with a mask on.

How To Protect Yourself

How can I help protect myself?

Take steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Clean and disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

Your healthcare provider and public health staff will evaluate whether you can be cared for at home. If it is determined that you do not need to be hospitalized and can be isolated at home, you will be monitored by staff from your local or state health department. You should follow the prevention steps below until a healthcare provider or local or state health department says you can return to your normal activities.

Stay home except to get medical care

People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

Soap and water are the best option if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate. When working with your local health department, check their available hours.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should do the following: stock up on supplies; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; keep away from others who are sick when you go out in public; limit close contact with others; wash your hands often; avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel. If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 from a package or product shipping from China?

There is still a lot that is unknown about the newly emerged COVID-19 and how it spreads. Two other coronaviruses have emerged previously to cause severe illness in people (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV). The virus that causes COVID-19 is more genetically related to SARS-CoV than MERS-CoV, but both are betacoronaviruses with their origins in bats. While we don’t know for sure that this virus will behave the same way as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, we can use the information gained from both of these earlier coronaviruses to guide us. In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Vaccine Information

Currently, the available vaccines are Moderna and Pfizer that are administered in two doses, while the Johnson and Johnson is a single dose. As of November 2021, most people were considered eligible to get a booster. While it is recommended for all eligible people, the CDC strongly recommends a few groups of individuals to get boosted.

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in a long-term care setting
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in the high-risk setting

The CDC recommendations on when to schedule a booster appointment are based on the previous vaccine received.

CDC recommends booster vaccinations for people older than 16 who have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and at least 6 months have passed since the last dose.

Those over the age of 18 or older who have previously received both doses of the Moderna COVID-19 are recommended to take a booster dose at least 6 months after the previous dose.

Booster vaccinations are recommended within 2 months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Symptoms And Testing

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

Maybe; not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. If you have symptoms and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider. Most people can recover at home in quarantine. However, some individuals are at a higher risk for developing complications, getting sick with COVID-19, and dying. These individuals with a medical condition, older adults, minority groups, and people with disabilities. Alarmingly new studies from the CDC show people from minority groups are dying from COVID-19 at younger ages.

As of January 2022, the availability of at-home tests for COVID-19 has been increased to help ensure more Americans can get rapid antigen at-home tests.
These tests can help to detect current infection, but they can’t detect antibodies, which suggest a previous infection. Nor do they measure levels of personal immunity. Although they provide results within minutes, these tests are different from laboratory-based tests that can take a few days to provide a result.
There are three primary occasions to take an at-home tests. The first is at the sign of symptoms. The second is after exposure to someone with COVID-19 (with a second test five days after exposure). And the third occasion is when planning to attend an indoor event, such as a wedding or concert.

Order free tests at COVIDtests.gov

Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.

For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.

The Omicron Variant

In December of 2021, the Omicron variant was detected in the United States. The presence of this variant could explain the increase of cases across the country. The emergence of variants does not come as a surprise to the CDC. According to previous statements, new variants have been predicted and may show different or no symptoms.

Early data suggest that the Omicron variant can spread even when vaccinated and displaying no symptoms, according to the CDC.

The CDC is concerned about the Omicron variant for a few main reasons. Data suggests the increase is most likely due to a combination of two factors: increased transmissibility and the variant's ability to evade immunity conferred by previous infections or vaccinations. The Omicron variant can become a problem for the healthcare system, especially if neglected.

Even with the emergence of new variants, one of the best ways to protect against the virus is stil vaccines.

What To Know About Getting Tested

Currently there are two different types of tests available. According to the CDC, COVID-19 tests are designed to detect the virus or the antibodies the body makes after getting vaccinated. The test for COVID-19 will determine if there is an infection present in the body at the time of the test was administered. There are rapid and laboratory tests

A rapid test is administered through a nasal swab, with results being ready in 15-30 minutes, however it is important to know results may be less reliable to people with no symptoms. A follow up may be required. While the second type of test available is a laboratory test.

The laboratory test can be done either by nasal swab or salvia sample. The results of this type of test often take 1-3 days to be available. This test is reliable for both people with symptoms and none, the benefit of this test is no follow up is required.

According to the CDC a few common reasons to get tested:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • At least 5 days after known or suspected close contact to COVID-19
  • For screening (e.g., schools, workplaces)
  • Before or after travel, domestically and internationally guidelines apply
  • When asked by a healthcare professional

The type of test given will depend on local availability. Free at home testing COVID-19 are available upon request through the US Postal Service.

Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

What is the risk to pregnant women of getting COVID-19? Is it easier for pregnant women to become ill with the disease? If they become infected, will they be more sick than other people?

The CDC classifies pregnancy as one of these conditions that makes someone at higher risk of getting sick. Pregnancy causes changes in the body that can make someone get sick from respiratory viruses like COVID-19. Individuals who were recently pregnant and are no longer pregnant should also take precautions due to the state of the immune system. There have been several studies supporting this claim that pregnant people face a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Being severely ill from COVID-19 may mean a few things are needed:

  • Hospitalization
  • Admission into an intensive-care unit (ICU)
  • A ventilator or equipment to assist with breathing

People who become severely ill from COVID-19 can die. Pregnant women, like others with underlying medical conditions, must be extra proactive in taking precautions.

How can pregnant women protect themselves from getting COVID-19?

Pregnant women should do the same things as the general public to avoid infection. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking these actions:

  • Cover your cough (using your elbow is a good technique)
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Clean your hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Due to pregnancy being considered a medical condition that puts individuals at higher risk for COVID-19. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is recommended for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, want to get pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future. Although the CDC recommends pregnant women get vaccinated and receive a booster shot, pregnant women are not required to get vaccinated.

Can COVID-19 cause problems for a pregnancy?

Yes, there are new findings from the CDC that suggest that pregnant people with COVID-19 are more likely to experience preterm birth (delivery prior to 37 weeks). Other findings also include other poor pregnancy outcomes, such as pregnancy loss. Expecting mothers should exercise caution against COVID-19 as part of their prenatal care.

Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus or newborn?

The CDC found that most newborns from people who had COVID-19 during pregnancy did not have COVID-19 at the time of birth. While some newborns did test positive shortly after birth it is not known if these cases caught COVID-19 before, during, or after birth. When newborns did test positive they had mild to no symptoms, with a few exceptions where the newborns did have a more severe case of COVID-19.

If a pregnant woman has COVID-19 during pregnancy, will it hurt the baby?

We do not know at this time what if any risk is posed to infants of a pregnant woman who has COVID-19. There have been a small number of reported problems with pregnancy or delivery (e.g. preterm birth) in babies born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 during their pregnancy. However, it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection.

 

Coronavirus Blog Posts

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What to Do If You Show Symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus
What Should Pregnant Women Know About the Coronavirus?
Handling Stress and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic
How to talk with your children about COVID-19 AKA the Coronavirus
5 Things Parents Need to Know About Coronavirus
Preventative Steps to Combat the Spread of Coronavirus

Videos

Hand Washing Video

Coronavirus Info Video

Awareness & Prevention Video

Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus

Additional Resources

Update From MCR Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Florida Department of Health
DeSoto County Face Mask Press Release

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