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The Importance of Calling the Health Department if You Suspect You Have COVID-19

COVID-19 is incredibly contagious and can be quite serious. It’s shut down countries and caused tens of thousands of deaths in just a few months. Slowing the spread and containing the virus is essential.

If you show symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important for you to contact the health offices at one of the locations of South Plains Rural Health in Levelland, Lamesa, and Big Spring, Texas. We can monitor your health, guide you in your quarantine so that you don’t spread it to your loved ones and the community, and direct you to testing.

Take a minute to review the symptoms of COVID-19, some of which are unexpected, and what to do if you show symptoms.

When to suspect you have COVID-19

You’ve probably heard a dry cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing may indicate you have the virus. As more and more people present with COVID-19, health organizations see other symptoms appearing with the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also list:

Some people even experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a stuffy nose.

It’s essential you take action right away, and call 911 if you or a loved one has trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face, or confusion and inability to wake.

Action to take if you suspect you have COVID-19

The above list of symptoms isn’t necessarily complete; new symptoms are reported regularly. This is why you should contact our health department if you suspect you have COVID-19. There’s no “textbook” version.

Your symptoms show up anywhere from 2-14 days of exposure to the virus. If you have been exposed to the virus or have any symptoms that suggest COVID-19, stay away from other people – even people who live in your house. Sequester in a specific area of your house that’s isolated from others and, if possible, use a separate bathroom.

Some people are at a higher risk of developing serious complications. These include the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, heart problems, and autoimmune conditions. But, the virus is unpredictable and can cause problems in young, seemingly healthy people, too. Letting us know you’re potentially infected helps us help you. 

Contact the health department

Even if you have mild symptoms, contact the health department at South Plains Rural Health. This helps us keep track of possible infection and spread. Plus, we can direct you to get testing and confirm a diagnosis. Call us just as you do for all your medical needs, and we’ll help you take the right steps.

Even if you don’t have health insurance, you can still get tested for COVID-19 at no cost to you. People can get tested for COVID-19 at public testing sites and drive-thru locations. These locations include Big Spring.

Don’t forget to stop the spread every day

Even if you’re perfectly healthy, you play a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Some people have symptoms that are so mild or don’t show any symptoms at all, but can still spread the virus. Social distancing, which means you stay at least six feet away from other people and gatherings, is an essential part of stopping the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask when you do go out in public for essential activities, such as grocery shopping.

Wash your hands often for 20 seconds at a time. Regular soap and water is sufficient in killing the virus. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a substitute if soap and water aren’t available. Avoid touching your face and disinfect doorknobs, handles, buttons, and surfaces regularly – even in your own house.

If you show any symptoms, STAY HOME, and call us. This is not an illness to “push through.”

COVID-19 is a serious public health concern. South Plains Rural Health is doing our part to help stop the spread and keep you healthy. Call us if you suspect you or a loved one has COVID-19. We’ll get you tested and monitor your symptoms to ensure you’re one of the lucky ones who makes it through without serious complications. 

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