AUSTIN (KXAN) — As city officials confirm the first two cases of COVID-19, unease and concern among residents continues to grow. In an effort to keep the public informed, the Texas Department of State Health Services shared their procedure for monitoring and checking people who are potentially exposed to the coronavirus disease.
The Texas DSHS guidelines for people being monitored for potential exposure to the coronavirus fall into three categories:
Active monitoring is when local health officials are checking in on you, at least once every day, to review your temperature and potential symptoms. Patients in the active monitoring phase are asked to record their temperature and symptoms in a COVID-19 14-Day Symptom Monitoring Log form.
Texas DSHS says it is vital for potential patients to monitor their symptoms for 14 days to protect their health and the health of those around them, but also to make sure they get the proper treatment they need.
Health officials also say it is vital to make sure everyone can identify the primary symptoms of COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Texas DSHS says they are also asking people to monitor for secondary symptoms such as:
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Abdominal pain/discomfort
Texas DSHS says anyone who becomes ill during the active monitoring phase should NOT go to a clinic or hospital without first calling their local health department informing them they are being monitored by the DSHS for COVID-19. Also, it is important to bring in a filled-in symptom monitoring log.
Self Monitoring with Delegated Supervision
The next category laid out by the Texas DSHS is self-monitoring with delegated supervision. This means patients will be monitoring themselves for a fever. They will be asked to take their temperature orally twice a day. This form of monitoring program will be managed by each patient’s employer.
Those that fall in this category are asked to check their temperature three times a day. Once in the morning, once at work and after returning home from work. Your temperature only needs to be checked twice on non-work days. Anyone with a fever, or anyone who begins displaying symptoms, should not go to work and should contact their medical provider as soon as possible.
The final category outlined by Texas DSHS is self-observation. This simply means potential patients should remain alert for symptoms. Health officials will contact patients on their first and last days of self-observation.
If a patient begins to feel feverish or develops symptoms during self-observation, they are advised to contact their health care provider for advice. It may be that further medical evaluation is needed. Those under self-observation have no restrictions.
More information on the coronavirus, prevention tips and how to identify symptoms can be found on the Texas DSHS website here.