COVID-19: What to Know

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you have a cough, a fever or difficulty breathing, and you are worried that you may have COVID-19, here are step-by-step recommendations on what to do.

Stay home and call ahead.

If you think you have or have been exposed to COVID-19, you should first call the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services at 866-462-3821 or your local Department of Health and Human Services.

DO NOT go directly to your doctor's office or an urgent care location without first calling to alert them to your possible COVID-19 exposure or infection.

If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and recent travel history.

Follow the instructions of your healthcare provider.

Your healthcare provider can guide you on steps to take to ensure you receive the care you need without accidentally exposing others to the virus.

Depending on your risk for COVID-19, your healthcare provider may recommend that you:

- Continue to monitor your health at home and call back if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.

- Stay home to await further instructions.

- Report to a designated medical care facility for evaluation and treatment.

- Go to a clinic or emergency department if you have more severe symptoms such as a high fever or severe shortness of breath.

Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, it is important to take the following steps to limit your risk of passing it along to others.

Wear a facemask: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. (Masks are NOT recommended for healthy people in the general population.)

Wash your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Cover your coughs and sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues away in a lined trash can and then immediately wash your hands.

Avoid touching your face: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Stay calm.

The possibility of having a contagious illness is scary, but doctors, nurses and other caregivers are learning more about COVID-19 every day. We are all working together with national and international agencies to identify and provide care to patients while avoiding spread of the illness in the community. By implementing these preventive practices into your daily routine, you are actively helping CaroMont Health save lives—our first priority, as always.