UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – Not everyone who gets sick with COVID-19 needs to go to the hospital. Most people can be cared for at home.

If you find yourself taking on the role of caregiver for a loved one at home, the health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following advice for helping them get better while avoiding getting the coronavirus yourself.

Provide basic support

  • Help your loved one follow their doctor’s instructions for care and medicine.
  • If they have a fever, try to lower it with over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen.
  • Encourage your loved one to rest and drink a lot of fluids.
  • Go grocery shopping, fill prescriptions, and get other items they may need.
  • Take care of their pets. Limit contact between your loved one and their pets.

Protect yourself from illness
Keep in mind that the coronavirus spreads through droplets created when someone talks, coughs or sneezes. It may also linger in the air indoors. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from your loved one at all times.

If possible, set up a separate sickroom for the person. It’s also best if they have their own separate bathroom. If you have to share space, make sure the room has good airflow. Open a window to increase air circulation.

Monitor your loved one’s health
Be sure you have the phone number of your loved one’s doctor available and call them if they continue to get sicker. It’s important to watch for the emergency signs, such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to stay awake, and bluish lips or face. Specifically, you should contact your primary care provider if breathing is difficult where you cannot speak more than just a few works without stopping to breathe, or breathing harder and you cannot do your usually daily activities.

If an emergency arises, call 911 and let the dispatcher know your loved one has COVID-19.

Remember to keep an eye on your own health
“It’s so important to watch for COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath,” said Shannon Handler, FNP-C, nurse practitioner for Aspirus “If you are having trouble breathing, call your doctor or the emergency department. Tell them your symptoms and let them know you have been caring for someone with COVID-19.”

Think you may have COVID-19? You can download the new MyAspirus app to complete the COVID-19 symptom checker. It will tell you if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you need to be tested, you can make your appointment right within the app. 

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