LifeCare Medical Center is working with the Minnesota Department of Health and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
24/7 Coronavirus Screening hotline: If you are experiencing a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and have had close-exposure to persons with confirmed COVID-19, or have traveled outside the country, please call the Altru 24/7 Coronavirus Screening Hotline at 701.780.6358 before visiting an Altru location.
Is it COVID-19?
- According to the Minnesota Department of Health, symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- shortness of breath
- muscle pain
- sore throat
- or loss of taste or smell
- other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Not everyone with COVID-19 has all of these symptoms, and some people may not have any symptoms.
Talk to your health care provider if you have questions or concerns about symptoms.
How long should I stay home if sick?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home until all three of these things are true:
- You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
- It has been 10 days since you first felt sick.
- You have had no fever for the last three days, without using medicine that lowers fevers.
Talk to your health care provider if you have questions.
If a lab test shows you have COVID-19, someone from the health department will give you more information and answer your questions.
If I have symptoms, when should I see a doctor?
If you have symptoms and can manage those symptoms at home, you don’t have to seek health care or be tested for COVID-19. Just stay home while you are sick. If you are older or have underlying medical conditions, it may be helpful to let your health care provider know you are sick. They may have some specific advice for you. Some people with COVID-19 have worsened during the second week of illness. If your symptoms worsen at any point, and you do need to go see a doctor, call ahead before going in.
Who should get tested
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. Talk to your health care provider.
- In general, people who do not have symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19.
- MDH may recommend that people who do not have symptoms get tested in certain situations, such as a setting where an outbreak is occurring.
Where can people be tested?
Most clinics and hospitals across the state have the ability to collect samples (specimens) for lab testing. It is best to call your health care provider before going to the clinic or hospital to be tested. MDH does not directly collect samples for testing; we receive the samples from providers and do the testing in our public health laboratory. If you are tested for COVID-19, the clinic that did your testing will get the results to you.
How does COVID-19 spread?
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- It spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms (when they are asymptomatic); there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Take the same precautions recommended for avoiding colds and flu:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough.
What is Coronavirus?
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They are estimated to cause about a third of all cases of the common cold.
- The most common forms can cause mild to moderate illness in people, while other forms circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats.
What is COVID-19?
- COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before.
- COVID-19 is not caused by the same coronavirus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012. However, it is in the same family of viruses.
- Because this is a new virus, there are still things we do not know, such as how severe the illness can be, how well it is transmitted between people, and other features of the virus. More information will be provided when it is available.
When to wear a mask
- The federal government has issued some new guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
- Here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Masks or cloth face coverings can help with preventing your germs from infecting others – especially in situations where you may spread the virus without symptoms.
- Wearing a mask does not protect you from others who may spread the virus. So, whether or not you wear a mask, you still need to wash your hands frequently, cover your cough, and practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet of space between people.
- People who are sick should still stay home. Wearing a mask does not mean people who are sick should go out into the community. If you are sick and need to go to the doctor, call your health care provider before going in and wear a mask to the clinic.
- Don’t buy or wear surgical or N95 masks. These supplies are in high need in health care facilities to protect health care workers.
- 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.
Learn more about COVID-19 at CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Frequently Asked Questions
For more FAQs, visit the CDC website.
Additional Information and Resources
For more information regarding the Minnesota Department of Health and the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Minnesota Department of Health – COVID-19 website.
For more information regarding the CDC and the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.