In video, Valley’s health officer gives advice for what to do now if you feel you may have COVID-19

This video is available from the Hopewell Township facebook site – click here. Transcription by MercerMe.

Blake: Hi I’m Julie Blake with the Hopewell Township Committee and I’m here with Stephanie Carey, from our Health Department – she’s our health officer and she’s going to answer some questions many of you may have about if you’re not feeling well and what you should do.

So, the questions I had because I’m not sure about how the guidance has changed is: What do if I feel sick. The previous advice had been to, if you were ill, to stay home and presume that you had COVID-19, but isn’t it important at this point to get tested? And how does the health department know that I have COVID-19? What if I’m sick and I haven’t heard from the health department – what do I do?

Carey: Alright. Thank you. If you are having any symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, fever, or loss of taste and smell, you should, as soon as possible, isolate yourself at home and reach out to your doctor’s office.

I want to point out in particular that this is different than the guidance we were giving in the height of this pandemic, because we were in the midst of a storm where the healthcare system was overwhelmed. Now we’re moving into a new phase where we are trying to crush the virus instead of just contain it. So, at this point we need to know as soon as someone may be potentially infectious.

So, if you are sick, you do want to call your doctor’s office to try to arrange for testing. And there are drive through sites and more and more private providers including many pharmacies that are offering tests. The tests have become more available and less invasive. Tests are now available that test saliva or lower in the nose. So, less frequently are people having to have those more uncomfortable long nasal swab tests.

So, yes, do seek out testing. The health department will be notified of positive test results. Because that’s how we do our investigation to control further spread. In the meantime, you should stay home except for seeking medical care and remain at home until you have received your test results. When you receive your test results, you should also be receiving further instructions about continuing home isolation and the health department will be reaching out to you to help identify any needs you have to be able to successfully stay at home and to find out about any other individuals you may have been in contact with who will also need testing and referral for care.

Blake: Right. Ok well wonderful and if they don’t hear from the health department should they contact you? Or what should they do?

Carey: They should contact the healthcare provider that referred them for the test because those are the first individuals who will be notified of test results. There can be a couple of days delay in notification from the health department.

Blake: Ok I really appreciate your time and explanation about what is going on. I wish you eill and hope you stay safe and appreciate all of the good information. Take care.

Carey: Thank you – stay safe.

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