Q. COVID-19 affects each person who gets it somewhat differently. What symptoms should cause me to seek care and how long should I wait to seek medical care. Does any of this change based on the number of cases that are reported in my community?
A. So you’ve got the sniffles and a mild cough, but no fever. Or an upset stomach, but no coughing or fever. Still, you’re worried about COVID-19. Should you get tested?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 presents with a wide range of symptoms, which appear between two and 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you want to get tested, call your doctor or health care provider to schedule a test, or go to Connecticut’s Department of Public Health page to see where you can get tested.
If you’ve been in close contact with someone who’s infected – which the CDC defines as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more – then you should get tested.
The CDC recommends seeking emergency medical care immediately if a person is having trouble breathing, has persistent chest pain or pressure, is confused or unable to stay awake, or has bluish lips or face.
If you do get tested, the CDC recommends self-quarantining until the results come back. If you test positive, take steps to prevent others from getting sick. If the test is negative, you were not infected at the time your sample was collected, but you should continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.
The CDC also has a self-checking tool, to help determine if you should be tested.
The COVID-19 positivity rate in Connecticut has begun to rise again. If a community is a coronavirus “hotspot,” meaning it has a rate of 15 or more new cases per day per 100,000 population, Gov. Ned Lamont has given town officials the power to roll back that community’s coronavirus precautions from Phase Three to more stringent measures if deemed necessary.
According to an executive order by Lamont, masks or cloth face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are required when in public and a 6-foot distance is unavoidable, whether indoors or outdoors.
The current rules are in place as of Nov. 6:
- Event venues are limited to 25 indoors, 50 outdoors.
- Performing arts and movie theaters maximum capacity 100 people.
- Personal services, such as hairdressers and barber shops, remain at 75% capacity.
- Religious gatherings must adhere to a 50% capacity, or a maximum of 100 people. Virtual services are encouraged.
- Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity indoors; maximum of 6 people per table and must close by 10 p.m. Takeout, delivery and curbside pick-up is still allowed after 9:30 p.m.