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UCC COVID-19 Call Center   406-275-2779   (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon – Fri.)  or email us at Lake County-CSKTUnified Command Center

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is characterized by mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. Illness can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

COVID-19 symptoms might include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing (severe cases)
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.

  • If you start to show symptoms, please call your health provider immediately. You will then get further guidance on the next steps. Many times people who contract COVID-19 will be able to recover at home.

  • Continue to follow the practices to prevent infection, and/or to prevent spreading infection.

    • Self-isolate by staying at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache, low grade fever (100.4 degree or above) and slight runny nose, until you recover. If it is essential for you to have someone bring you supplies or to go out, e.g. to buy food, then wear a mask to avoid infecting other people.
    • Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
    • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
    • Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • The time for self-isolating if you have been exposed is 14 days. During that time monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19. If you should start to feel symptoms, call your provider immediately.

  • While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.

  • Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness. About 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

  • No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.

  • Not yet. To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care. Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people who are coughing or sneezing.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 6 feet away from a person who is sick.

  • Studies suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.

  • The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.

  • It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with a simple disinfectant such as soap and water to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

  • Current recommendations from the CDC is that anyone in “public” should be wearing a cloth face cover. Therefore, all essential staff will be wearing something to cover their mouth and nose while in the presence of other people. There are many locations in the community to obtain these cloth face masks. There are also good tutorials online for patterns and construction of face masks.

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
  • They do not need to stay away from work unless they have a fever of greater than 100.1 OR they have been told to do so by a health care provider.

  • Tribal Council has granted administrative leave for those needing to take care of families. Daycares will remain open for essential workers only. Sending your child to daycare is not a disqualifying event, however risks and benefits should be weighed.

  • No, the staff can still report to work. Their family should isolate themselves as much as possible for the two-week period, ordered by Governor Bullock. If the family or staff were to develop symptoms, this would need to be re-evaluated.

Try to quarantine the infected family member from healthy family members, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes. Try to prevent further infection of other family members by taking basic precautions.

  • Many people with coronavirus (COVID-19) or symptoms of COVID-19 like cold symptoms, cough, fever, or shortness of breath, are told to stay home to recover. If someone in your home is recovering, take steps to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others inside and outside the home. Here are some basic precautions and actions:

    Help the sick person follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medications and care. If they are getting sicker, call their healthcare provider or Tribal Health for medical advice. If they have a medical emergency, call 911. Keep the sick person away from others as much as possible

    Stay home and avoid having visitors.

    Separate the sick person from others in the home. If possible, have the sick person use a separate bedroom and bathroom that no one else uses. Prepare meals for them and have them eat in their own area. Avoid sharing items like dishes, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the sick person uses the items, they should be handled with gloves and washed with hot water. Wash hands after removing gloves. Keep pets away. While the animals won’t get sick, they may carry it to other people on their fur, collar, etc. Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good airflow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window. The sick person should wear a face mask around other people. If disposable ones are not available, have them wear a bandana or something else to cover their nose and mouth. When the mask or bandana gets moist or wet, it needs to be changed. The bandana can be washed and reused. Others can still talk, sing, play, etc. with the sick person from a safe distance (at least 6 feet) or by phone or video.

    Everyone in the home should wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Everyone should also avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

    Clean and disinfect. Cleaning removes dirt and germs with soap. Disinfecting kills germs with chemicals. Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tables, doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, toilets, phones, etc. multiple times each day. For disinfecting, use common household disinfectants like Lysol or Clorox, diluted household bleach solutions (4teaspoons bleach per quart of water), or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol. Gloves should be worn for cleaning, but they should only be used for cleaning surfaces for COVID-19. Wash hands immediately after gloves are removed.

    If a separate bathroom is not available for only the sick person to use, the bathroom should be disinfected after each use by a sick person.

    Wear gloves when you touch or have contact with the sick person’s body fluids, such as blood, saliva, mucus, or urine. Wash hands immediately afterwards.

    Wash laundry thoroughly. Immediately remove and wash clothes, towels, or bedding that have body fluids on them. Wear gloves while handling dirty items and keep them away from your body. If gloves are not available, wash hands immediately after putting items in the wash. Use a normal laundry detergent according to instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers.