What you should do if you think you have COVID-19

Journal Staff

Much has been said about avoiding the COVID-19 virus.

But many of us will be infected at some point, experts say, so what should you do then?

If you’re feeling ill or showing flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, go into self-isolation immediately, says Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health.

The standard period of isolation is 14 days, which is how long it can take for symptoms of the novel coronavirus to appear.
All travellers returning to Canada, regardless of country of origin, must self-isolate immediately upon returning.

Anyone with symptoms should consult their primary health-care provider as soon as possible.

They can also call Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) or Lambton Public Health, (519-383-8331). The health unit says COVID-19 testing is only available under limited circumstances, due to a limited supply of tests.

For extremely severe symptoms, call 911 or visit the emergency department.

An initial COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool has been posted to the Ministry of Health website. Individuals who suspect they have the virus can consult it to determine whether and how to seek further care.

When self-isolating, the Canadian Red Cross recommends having a two-week supply of non-perishable food on hand, as well hygiene products, medications, and pet supplies. Check your thermometer batteries.
If you aren’t able to stock up, have food and medications delivered by a grocery store or pharmacy, or ask for help from friends and family, the Ontario government says.

Two weeks in isolation can feel like a long time, so it’s important to maintain a level of physical activity, adds Sarnia yoga instructor Mackenzie Zavitz.

Set a schedule. Any movement is beneficial, whether it’s jumping jacks or yoga poses, she said.

“If you can’t commit to that hour, at least three times, 10 to 15 minutes a day.” she said.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has said the virus could eventually infect between 30% and 70% of the Canadian population and many will need to self-isolate in the coming weeks and months.