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COVID-19 Key facts

COVID-19: What you need to know

JHAH Director of Infection Control, Dr. Jaffar Al-Tawfiq, provides insights into the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what you can do to protect yourself and the people around you.

How you can protect yourself

The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory infections, this includes high temperature ≥ 37.8°C, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat or a runny nose.

COVID-19, like other coronaviruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), can be transmitted from one person to another by:

  • Droplets from coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

How can you help to minimize the spread of infection?

Avoid all contact with individuals who may have the disease and please remember when you cough and sneeze to use cough etiquette, wash your hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer.

Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant – for example kitchen benches and work desks.

In addition, practice personal hygiene. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 40 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Avoid contact with others; do not travel while sick. Please wear a mask.

COVID-19 can be contracted by people of all ages.

However older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. Take extra care to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

If you have recently traveled to a country affected by COVID-19, or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, and you within 14 days develop flu-like symptoms, such as a temperature of ≥ 37.8° C, sore throat, coughing, or breathlessness, you should seek medical assistance.

Talk to your registered health care provider, so precautions can be taken to protect others. For JHAH-registered patients, please call the JHAH Nurse Care Line to speak to an experienced healthcare professional, phone: 800-305-4444, option three. Outside of clinic hours please go to the Emergency Department.

Traveling

We recommend that you consult ‘Travel Notices’ on the  Center for Disease Control (CDC) website  for regularly updated notices related to risk level and advice. Consult national travel advice related to COVID-19 before going on vacations or business trips.

Receiving a letter or a package from countries with confirmed cases

Receiving a package or letter from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases will not put you at risk of contracting the new coronavirus COVID-19. Coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.  

If you have been contacted to be tested for COVID-19

If you have been contacted by JHAH, or the Ministry of Health, to be tested for COVID-19 at JHAH, as a precautionary measure, we will direct you to the JHAH Selective Screening Station. When we contact you, we will provide you with all the details needed to complete your testing, including preparation, testing location, and the time you should arrive at the Selective Screening Station.

JHAH Drive-Through Selective Screening

This is a streamlined process, allowing our JHAH medical professionals to swiftly test those who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. The candidates for testing are contacted by JHAH or the Ministry of Health. They will have a phone consultation with a JHAH clinician before coming to JHAH, which means the actual screening process only takes about one minute to complete, without the person even having to leave their car, thereby lowering the risk of spreading infection. The results of the test may take up to five working days.

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