Advice From Your Doctor On COVID
I’ve been exposed to Covid, what do I do now?
- First of all, do not panic. If you can get tested, do so. However, DO NOT go to the ER just to obtain a covid test.
- Remember at home Covid tests are accurate when the result is positive. However, if the test is negative, it is best to test on consecutive days to improve the detection rate of this test. You can go to COVIDTests.gov (beginning 1/19/22) to order 4 free at-home tests.
- PCR tests are more reliable and more sensitive but must be done at an Urgent Care like Patient First, Velocity or ARC labs. Most pharmacies have drive-thru Covid testing available, check your local sites. If you cannot be tested, then monitor for symptoms. If you develop symptoms (cold or flu symptoms) then it likely is related to covid. Again, test if possible.
- If a household contact is positive, isolate from that person as much as possible, wear a well-fitting KN95 or N95 mask if it is a dependent.
I’m positive for Covid 19 and pregnant
- You will need to treat your symptoms. Take Tylenol for fever (2 extra strength Tylenol every 6 hours as maximum dose of Tylenol is 4000 mg in 24 hours). If your fever is over 102.2 despite appropriate use of Tylenol notify your provider.
- For cough you can use plain robitussin (guaifenesin). Do not take ibuprofen (since you are pregnant) and avoid Sudafed. You will need to quarantine for 10 days. If you must leave your home after 5 days and you have no further fever or symptoms, the CDC has allowed this but only if you wear a well-fitting mask (KN 95 or N95 preferred). In the interest of keeping our patients safe, you will need to remain out of the office for 10 days.
- If you have shortness of breath at rest or with minimal activity (separate from typical pregnancy symptoms), you need to go to the ER.
- If you are vaccinated and boosted, it is likely you will have a very minimal course.
- If you are unvaccinated and having mild to moderate symptoms there may be an option to receive an infusion of monoclonal antibodies which can decrease severity of disease. This is given at an infusion center and requires a referral. This is reserved for those at high risk for severe disease so not all will qualify. Supplies of this medication are limited and once referral is written infusions are approved on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to be considered for this medication, please call during normal business hours.
- If you notice a significant decrease in your baby’s movements (after 28 weeks), vaginal bleeding or symptoms of preterm labor, evaluation at L&D is recommended.
I’m positive for Covid 19 and breastfeeding
- Wear a well-fitting mask (KN 95 or N95) when around your baby, especially when nursing
- Notify your pediatrician so he/she can help you monitor your baby.
How can I prevent Covid 19?
- Wear a well-fitting mask (N95 or KN95) when indoors. The Omicron variant is extremely contagious and cloth and surgical masks will not protect as much as a better mask. However, any mask is better than none.
- If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated! The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are extremely safe and will protect you and your baby. It will also decrease risk of transmission to other younger individuals in your family who cannot yet be vaccinated. If you were vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna (the mRNA vaccines) more than 5 months ago, get a booster. You can mix and match with the booster (either Pfizer or Moderna is fine, no matter your other vaccinations). If you previously received Johnson and Johnson vaccination more than 2 months ago, get an mRNA vaccine as soon as possible.
- Remember, although you may contract Covid 19 despite being vaccinated, you are MUCH less likely to develop severe symptoms or require hospitalization.