Caring for someone sick at home with COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in this area, many are caring for someone at home who has been diagnosed with the virus. The following is a list of ways to care for and support those sick at home with COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Provide Support
• See if over-the-counter medicines for fever help the person feel better.
• Make sure the person who is sick drinks a lot of fluids and rests.

Watch for warning signs
• Call their doctor if the person keeps getting sicker.
• For medical emergencies, call 911 and tell the dispatcher that the person has or might have COVID-19.

When to seek emergency medical attention
Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
• Trouble breathing
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• New confusion/irritability
• Inability to wake or stay awake
• Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
This list does not include all possible symptoms. Call a medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Those who think emergency medical care is necessary should call 911 or call ahead to the local emergency facility and notify the operator that they are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Protect oneself
• Limit contact, if possible, stay six feet apart.
• Isolate the sick person in the home
• If possible, have the person who is sick use a separate bedroom and bathroom.
• For those who have to share space, make sure the room has good air flow (open window).
• Put on a mask and ask the sick person to put on a mask before entering shared spaces.
• Children under two years of age should not wear a mask.
• Wash hands often and clean high-touch surfaces and objects regularly.

Caregivers should quarantine
• Stay home for 14 days after last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
• Watch for fever (100.4), cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19.
• If possible, stay away from people living in the same household, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
• High-risk persons over the age of 18 may be eligible for monoclonal antibody therapy.

There is plenty of first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine available for those in the area that have not yet been vaccinated. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the best way to protect oneself against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 can have serious, life threatening complications and there is no way to know how it will affect anyone. The COVID-19 vaccine, which is readily available locally and creates an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.

Allamakee County Public Health does have a good supply of vaccine and is highly encouraging everyone to receive it. Vaccine clinics are readily available every Friday afternoon for both prime and second doses for Moderna and Pfizer.  Pfizer can be used for people age 12 and older. These clinics are held at the main entrance to Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. Call 563-568-5660 to schedule an appointment.

Both Hartig Drug and Nightingale Pharmacy in Waukon have vaccine available for ages 12 and older. Parental/guardian consent is required. Call ahead to schedule an appointment.

Watch the Veterans Memorial Hospital website at and the Veterans Memorial Hospital Facebook page for upcoming clinic details.