PLEASE NOTE: ID Care is not a COVID-19 testing center. We recommend that you reach out to your primary care physician if you believe you are experiencing symptoms of the virus.
SARS CoV 2 is a highly contagious respiratory illness. It’s mainly spread person-to-person by coming into close contact with an individual who is sick with the virus. It may also be spread by touching your face after touching surfaces or objects with the virus on them. To help people avoid this dangerous virus, ID Care has been working with most of the health systems in the state to develop protocols that optimize recognized infection control measures to prevent or limit the extent of the infection. We are also providing guidance to NJ physicians on the best approach to treatment.
Once exposed to the virus, symptoms may appear anywhere between 2–14 days later. Symptoms are often mild in the beginning and, in more severe cases, gradually worsen over time. Initial symptoms include:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
In cases where the virus is more aggressive, the following may occur:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Multiple organ failure
Coronavirus symptoms may appear similar to those of other respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold and flu. It can be very difficult to distinguish the common cold or influenza from COVID-19.
If you have a respiratory illness, contact your primary care physician for direction on what to do. If your symptoms are mild, you should be advised to stay at home until you are better to limit the spread of whatever virus is causing your illness. If you have more serious concerns, such as fever, shortness of breath, or chest pain, your doctor may ask you to come to the office or go to the ER for testing. Although early in the epidemic, your travel history may have been relevant to the suspicion for COVID-19, that is no longer as important because of widespread community transmission now occurring in the U.S.
There are currently no specific treatments to combat COVID-19, so treatment is directed to symptoms you have, supportive care, and the potential for secondary bacterial infections. If you’ve been exposed to the virus and/or are diagnosed and your symptoms are mild, you may be asked to self-quarantine and stay away from other people. If your tests confirm COVID-19, you cannot go to work, school, or any other public areas until you’ve been cleared by a doctor. If symptoms are severe, you may be admitted to the hospital for care. Most people who contract the virus are able to make a full recovery, but the elderly and anyone with pre-existing health conditions – such as lung or heart disease, diabetes, or cancer – are more vulnerable to developing severe symptoms.
Although coronavirus is very contagious, there are steps you can take to prevent the disease and keep yourself healthy. Some of the best prevention strategies as recommended by the ID Care team and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) include:
- Avoiding close contact with sick individuals
- Avoiding touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth
- Staying home if you are sick
- Using a tissue to cover coughing and sneezing and then disposing of that tissue
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Carefully monitoring any and all symptoms that develop
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Come to ID Care for Coronavirus Care
For more information and answers to your questions about coronavirus, feel free to contact one of ID Care’s office locations. The ID Care professionals are the experts in NJ guiding the response to this pandemic in over 50 facilities in the state. If you are ill, call your doctor for advice. ID Care doctors have been assisting hundreds of physicians in responding to this epidemic. Call 908-281-0221 to learn more.