Clinic Wide Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you have a fever or respiratory symptoms, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, other related symptoms such as loss of taste or smell, chills, fatigue, body aches, or had a possible exposure to COVID-19 please CALL your doctor’s office BEFORE coming in for your appointment.
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We know that with the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Dubuque County many of you may be wondering if you should get tested. Our Respiratory Clinic is available to care for patients with respiratory symptoms and those who had a possible exposure to COVID-19.
If you are concerned about a possible exposure to COVID-19 please self-isolate and contact your primary care provider to determine your best next steps. Not everyone needs to be tested immediately, the time frame of when you should be tested is dependent upon your type of exposure. Typically it is best to complete the test 4-6 days after exposure.
Additionally, the City of Dubuque has worked with the Test Iowa Initiative to set up a COVID-19 testing site through Epic Health and Wellness. You must complete the online assessment and get appointment information directly from the Test Iowa website. Please keep in mind that Test Iowa is strictly a testing site, should you have a positive result please reach out to your primary care provider for additional assistance on what next steps you should take.
To help provide additional guidance please see our Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the definition of close contact/exposure?
Being in close contact (6 feet or less) with a confirmed positive individual for a prolonged period of time (15 minutes or more) without mask/PPE protection from the 48 hours prior to the confirmed positive individual’s symptom onset until that person was officially self-isolated/quarantined.
What should you do if you've had close contact with a 'close contact' (who has not yet tested positive)?
Monitor your symptoms, maintain the universal precautions as already recommended- social distancing (six feet apart) and mask when not possible to distance - you do not need to quarantine. You turn into a ‘close contact’ if your ‘close contact’ has tested positive (Then follow steps outlined in "What should I do if I have been exposed?".
What should I do if I have been in close contact with someone who tested positive?
You should self-isolate/quarantine, monitor your symptoms and seek testing. However, you should wait to be tested until 4-5 days after your exposure to lower the possibility of a false negative test if testing is performed too early. Reach out to your physician if at any time symptoms begin as this may change the timing of testing.
Healthcare personnel exception—Following an exposure, healthcare personnel who remain asymptomatic may be permitted to continue to work wearing a face mask at all times for source control and monitoring symptoms diligently. However, if at anytime following the exposure the healthcare personnel becomes symptomatic they should seek testing and move into self-isolation. If the asymptomatic exposure gets tested but remains asymptomatic they can continue working following the aforementioned precautions. However, if that result then comes back positive they would no longer be permitted to continue working and will move into self-isolation.
- Note that this policy will be dependent upon the healthcare organization and their staffing situations.
What does it mean to self-isolate/quarantine?
If you are asked to self-isolate/quarantine this means that you should stay home, separate yourself from others and monitor your health.
I've been tested, what should I do now?
It is important if you are waiting for your test results, whether you are showing symptoms or not, that you self-isolate/quarantine. If you we not tested through your primary care providers office and receive a positive result you should contact their office for next steps.
How can you help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
To help prevent the spread of all viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:
- Wear a mask when social distancing measures can not be followed.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Self-isolate/quarantine after an exposure or if you have been tested for COVID-19; remain quarantined until you have a confirmed result back and then for the appropriate timeframe as stated by your healthcare provider.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.&
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth.
- Disinfect & clean commonly touched surfaces and objects.
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