Facts and Information
Understanding COVID-19 and How to Stay Safe by
What you should do if you have symptoms
Seek medical advice if you are experiencing the following symptoms: fever over 100.4 degrees, cough, shortness of breath, or fatigue and have traveled in the last 14 days, or if you have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Call our triage nurse at 320.289.1580 before coming to the Clinic or Emergency Room (calling ahead can help prevent the spread of the virus).
Appleton Area Health is working with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay prepared to manage coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. Because this is a new virus, there are unknowns, such as how severe the illness can be, how easily is it transmitted between people, among other features of the virus. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Facts About COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. People with COVID-19 experience mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Per the the Centers for Disease Control:
People are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest), it can still be transmitted even if you are not having symptoms.
Spread of the disease primarily occurs from person to person who are in prolonged personal contact with each other; through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (within about 6 feet).
Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects may be possible by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, however this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
People at greatest risk of dying from COVID-19 include:
Those with chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, underlying heart and lung diseases, or other immune compromising conditions
What you can do to avoid exposure
Community members should prepare by learning about COVID-19 through reliable resources provided by the CDC and staying calm. The CDC and MDH always recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Stay home when you are sick.
Stay home even when you feel well too except to shop for necessities or to seek medical care! Social distancing works to prevent and slow the spread of the virus.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or when your hands are visibly dirty.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until they are dry.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; or cough into the crook of your arm.
Regular household cleaning spray or wipes can be used to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Practice social distancing. Stay home except to get essential supplies and avoid public places.
CDC and MDH do not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of harsh cough, shortness of breath, or fever to help prevent the spread of diseases.
CDC recommends that travelers returning from countries with widespread, ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries) should stay home for a period of 14 days from the date they left that country.
Review travel recommendations posted on CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel if you are planning to travel, and keep an eye on the news for updates on this evolving situation.
For the current countries and additional guidance see CDC: Travelers from Countries with Widespread Sustained (Ongoing) Transmission Arriving in the United States
What AAH is Doing to Prepare
Appleton Area Health is working with the CDC and MDH. Jason Boonstra, is AAH's Infection Control Manager and works to train staff and prevent staff, patients, and visitors from being infected with disease.
In addition to daily communication with CDC and MDH, Jason keeps AAH informed of COVID-19 updates. Our staff is fully trained to safely accommodate patients with infectious diseases. If a local COVID-19 case is suspected, Appleton Area Health will work the Minnesota Department of Health, and collaborate with Public Health as needed.
According to CDC, patients with confirmed COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
Shortness of breath
Some patients have other symptoms including muscle aches, headache, sore throat, or diarrhea.
Based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of other coronaviruses, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure.
If you develop symptoms:
Call your health care provider immediately via phone and tell them about any recent travel or exposure. (Contacting your healthcare provider via phone before going to a clinic or hospital helps prevent spread.)
Avoid contact with other people.
Follow the directions of your provider and public health officials.
More information about coronavirus can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website. MDH has set up a COVID-19 public hotline that is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.
Content source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)