Q. What can I do to reduce my risk of getting COVID-19?
A: Follow the CDC’s recommendations for preventing infection, including keeping yourself physically distant from others, washing your hands after touching surfaces and sanitizing frequently. Don’t touch your face. If you can work from home, you should.
Q. Should I be wearing a mask in public?
A: The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). If you can’t put on a cloth face covering (because of trouble breathing for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way.
Q. I heard that steroids are not good for COVID-19. Should I stop taking my steroid inhaler?
A: No. While using systemic steroids, like prednisone, is associated with a prolonged time of shedding the virus if you have it, there isn’t evidence that using inhaled steroids increases your chances of getting COVID-19 or severe disease from it. In addition, if you have asthma it’s important to take your inhaled steroid to prevent your asthma from getting out of control.
If you have any questions about your medications, call your healthcare provider.
Q. What do I do if I feel more short of breath?
A: There are other reasons why you might have shortness of breath. There are other illnesses besides COVID-19 and allergy season is upon us, which can worsen asthma control. Talk with your healthcare provider. Follow your asthma or COPD action plan.
Q. What do I do if I get a fever and cough?
A: At this time, many primary care providers and specialty offices do not have the ability to test for COVID-19.
Contact the HonorHealth nurse line if you have symptoms of coronavirus at 480-587-6200 or chat with a caregiver. They can direct you to the best place for care. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
Q. I tested positive or COVID. I wasn’t sick enough to get admitted. What do I do now?
A: Stay at home to reduce the risk of transmission to others: Self-isolate for at least 7 days. If after 7 days, you still have symptoms, wait until you have had no fever for at least 72 hours and your other symptoms have improved.
Continue taking your usual medications for COPD or asthma. You can take cough suppressants and acetaminophen. Watch for increasing shortness of breath, and if you have an oximeter you can watch your oxygenation. If you develop more shortness of breath/ hypoxia, go to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Q. Should I have hydroxychloroquine on hand in case I feel sick?
A: No. The FDA approved hydroxychloroquine on an emergency basis for use in COVID-19 disease, for patients who are hospitalized. The data on its effectiveness is still very limited, and there are potential serious side effects.
Q. I have asthma and I work in healthcare. Do I need to stay home?
A: If your job is something that can be transitioned to less direct patient care, talk to your supervisor and request that change. If not, use personal protective equipment when providing direct patient care.
Q. Are people who smoke or vape at higher risk for COVID-19 or having more severe symptoms?
Note: This article was last reviewed on April 20, 2020. We will continue to update it as new information becomes available.