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What to do if you think you have COVID-19

The Detroit NEws

As the new coronavirus continues to spread around the state, Michigan residents might find themselves concerned that they have contracted it. In an effort to break through the confusion, here is a guide for what steps you should take if you believe you have COVID-19:

Check your symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms might appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. 

Call your doctor

Individuals who are concerned about their health and experiencing respiratory illness or other concerning symptoms should contact their health care provider to discuss their symptoms.

Health care providers make decisions about testing based on signs and symptoms of respiratory illness and potential exposure. They also try to rule out other causes for respiratory illness.

If your health care provider decides it is necessary to test for COVID-19, they will take the sample and order testing. You will receive your results from your health care provider.

If your health care provider decides it is not necessary to test for COVID-19, and you do not agree, you could consider getting a second opinion.

If your health care provider does not offer COVID-19 testing, and you are concerned about your health, you should contact a different health care provider.

Quarantine at home

The state and area hospitals do not have the capacity to test everyone who might be infected, according to Beaumont doctors. If you are younger and otherwise healthy, your best option is to self-quarantine at home. Inform your employer that you have symptoms and do whatever you can to work from home and not leave.

You can also consider virtual care. Many hospitals and health plans now offer telemedicine options. 

Beaumont also launched a free online COVID-19 risk assessment tool, which allows patients to answer a series of questions about their symptoms and help them determine whether to stay home or seek medical attention.

Henry Ford is also offering an online risk assessment tool.

Other options for testing

If you don’t have a doctor, the state of Michigan has a hotline for people who suspect they might have coronavirus. That number is (888) 535-6136.

Google your county health department or nearest hospitals for additional coronavirus hotlines for help in your area.

  • Oakland County: Nurses on call can be reached at (800) 848-5533 or noc@oakgov.com. The line is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Macomb County:  COVID-19 helpline can be reached at (586) 463-3750. Helpline is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Wayne County: COVID-19 hotline is available at (833) 427-5634 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
  • Washtenaw County: Call (734) 544-6700.

The CDC urges those who believe they might have the coronavirus to call ahead before visiting a doctor or emergency room. 

Beaumont's curbside service is available at its hospitals in Dearborn, Royal Oak and Troy from  6 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and at its hospitals in Grosse Pointe, Farmington Hills, Taylor, Trenton and Wayne from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Allegiance Health is operating a drive-thru screen center on the surface lot of One Jackson Square, 100 E. Michigan Avenue, in Jackson.

Henry Ford is setting up curbside testing at some locations, including Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson.

Curbside screening centers are intended for people who are experiencing fever, cough and shortness of breath, and who were exposed to someone diagnosed with the virus, Henry Ford officials said. 

They asked that people who don't meet criteria for testing, such as recent domestic or international travel that may have exposed them to the virus, avoid using the service to make sure it's available for those with the greatest need. 

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