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What You Should Know About The Coronavirus

Apr 1, 2020 By Andrew Diamond
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Updated May 1, 2020. This post will continue to be updated as more information is available.

The outbreak of COVID-19, the illness caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus known as SARS-Cov2, continues to be a global health challenge. As of May 1, 2020, the U.S. has over 1 one million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There are many things we can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions our members have about how they can stay safe and healthy during this time.

How can I protect myself?

We recommend practicing good hygiene in the same way you would protect yourself during cold and flu season:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going into public or touching common surfaces. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice social distancing and keep space between yourself and others outside your home. This means avoiding crowded places and group gatherings, as well as staying 6 feet away from other people. If you are quarantining with others or are a caretaker during this time, here is how to stay safe at home.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Close contact is considered spending more than a few minutes within 6 feet of a sick person, or sharing common surfaces or utensils.
  • Wear a cloth face covering or face mask when in public settings, especially in places with a high density of people, such as grocery stores or transit centers. For more information on when to wear face masks, see here.
  • Stay home and self isolate if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough. We also recommend you reach out to us to review your symptoms and discuss getting tested for coronavirus.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Who should get tested for coronavirus?

One Medical has continued to expand our testing capacity. Now, anyone with coronavirus concerns can be tested through One Medical. If you are not already a One Medical member, you can use the code GETCARE30 during registration to get a free 30 day membership with access to our virtual care team and testing services, as needed. Learn how to sign up here.

What should I do if I want to get tested for COVID-19?

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we first recommend self-isolating to help prevent the spread. If you are interested in testing, please start by contacting our 24/7 virtual care team. Our virtual care team will provide a COVID-19 screening before setting you up with an appointment at one of our designated testing centers.

How is Covid-19 transmitted?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread through coughing, sneezing, close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands, or touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth without washing hands. In short, it is passed along like a cold or flu. There are also concerns that the virus can survive suspended in the air as aerosolized particles, though virtually all official transmission precautions still focus on the methods of spread listed above. Nonetheless, it seems appropriate to take reasonable precautions, such as maintaining adequate ventilation, avoiding staying in another person’s direct air flow, and minimizing the number of people sharing the same environment.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 can range from none at all to severe breathing difficulty. Cough and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms, with other common symptoms including fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, repeated shaking with chills, and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure.

I don’t have symptoms but am at higher risk for viral infection. What should I do to reduce my risk?

People over the age of 65 and those with other risk factors are at higher risk of infection and complications of infection. If you fall into one of these categories, we recommend that you keep enough supplies at home to reduce unnecessary trips into public, avoid crowds, and cancel all non-essential travel. Especially if there is an active COVID-19 outbreak in your area, you should stay home as much as possible to minimize your risk of exposure. If you must go out, wear a cloth mask, practice strict social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.

For more information, check out our other coronavirus-related content here or see the latest from the CDC or WHO.

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Andrew Diamond, One Medical Provider
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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.