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More details on our increased Visitation Program Guidelines »

COVID-19 Testing

When and how should you seek medical care? Montefiore’s Dr. Theresa Madaline, Infectious Disease Specialist and Epidemiologist, explains care at home, when to go to a hospital and testing. 

This video reflects the latest information available.

Transcript

COVID-19: Medical Care and Testing

When and how should I seek medical care?

Theresa Madaline, MD:
Infectious Disease Specialist and Epidemiologist

If you think you're having symptoms of COVID-19, testing is available. And you can also request a telehealth visit with your provider. Most people who do have COVID-19 can care for themselves at home by doing things like resting, staying hydrated, and taking fever-reducing medicines like acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol. It's important to stay away from other people while you're sick so you don't spread the virus around. People who have more severe symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or difficulty taking in enough food or water to remain hydrated, might have to go to a hospital. It's helpful if you can call ahead and let them know you think you might have COVID-19, so they can prepare to receive you.

How do I get tested?

Unlike the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, many more laboratories can now test for COVID-19 and testing is more widely available. Here at Montefiore, you can arrange a virtual visit with a provider through our Montefiore FIRST app and the provider can help to arrange a testing appointment for you. Another options would be to call 311 through New York City or to go to the New York State Department of Health website, where they can help you find a testing site near you. The test for COVID-19 is done through a technology called PCR where we look for pieces of the virus. We collect a sample by putting a Q-tip inside the nose or in the throat and sending it to the lab. You may have heard about antibody testing. That's a type of blood test that looks for antibodies to the virus. This test isn't really the best test to diagnose an infection in a person who's having new symptoms, but it can be helpful in people who think they had COVID-19 previously, to confirm that they had the infection.

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Dr. Sandra Pimentel, Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology, discussing how to talk to kids about COVID-19.

How can parents talk about what's happening as a result of COVID-19 with kids of all ages? Montefiore's Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Dr. Sandra Pimentel, discusses how to help kids understand COVID-19 using techniques to encourage talking about their feelings resulting from the life changes and uncertainty they're experiencing because of the pandemic, and how parents can model coping methods to help kids make more sense of their world.

Transcript

We get asked a lot about how to talk to kids about COVID-19. And by this point, parents have had at least some discussion regarding COVID-19 and its effects with their kids. Early on, there were major transitions for families moving into remote learning, staying at home, and trying to explain the reasons for staying at home, and things like that. And at this point, in our experience, kids may be asking questions about the end of the school year, when is this going to be over? What's gonna happen this summer? And there's still a lot of uncertainty. And so part of what we wanna talk about is how do we talk to kids about COVID-19 now in terms of where we are today? The answer is, in part, it depends. It depends on the age of the child, their developmental level. Parents, you know your kids best. Are they more, someone who's more verbal and likes to talk about things? Are they more likely to express things via something creative or artistic? Are you better off talking to them while you're doing some shared activity? So the way to talk to kids about COVID-19 depends on the age and developmental level and the style of your child. Unsurprisingly, the best way to talk to kids about COVID-19 or any topic for that matter, is to listen. And we wanna listen out for, what are they thinking? What are they worrying about? What are they expressing? Asking them directly? Sometimes parents are scared to ask about feelings and certainly encourage asking directly about what they're thinking, or how they're feeling about a certain situation. What do they have on their mind about how things are going now, or the future, summer? What are they worrying about most? What do they think about when they're going to bed at night? Another strategy is to ask about, what are their friends thinking? What are their friends saying about all of this? And the experience that's happening with COVID-19. That's another strategy for sometimes getting kids to talk about things, either they may agree with their friends on, or disagree with their friends on. Another strategy in terms of talking to kids is expressing an observation. I noticed that you seemed pretty upset when this happened, or I noticed that you were sad, or I noticed that you stopped talking to this particular friend. So expressing an observation as an entry point for discussion and conversation. And parents, you all are likely more fixers, you wanna fix a situation. And with COVID-19, one of the things that we are learning, we are all collectively learning is to tolerate a lot of uncertainty. And we can't fix a lot of the uncertainty that's out there and what's happening. So part of the best first strategy is to validate the feeling. Uncertainty can be scary, it's scary for adults, it's scary for kids. So a starting point in talking to kids is validating their feelings. So if they feel scared, if they feel angry, if they feel frustrated about not seeing their friends. Validating that that stinks. It's hard to feel lonely. It's hard to feel disconnected from your friends. And validating that feeling is a great starting point. You don't have to fix it, just validate the feeling itself. The other strategy also simple and straightforward is to normalize the feeling. We're all feeling angry, frustrated, confused, sad, disconnected. So sharing and normalizing that experience for kids and telling them yeah, it makes sense, we're all feeling a lot of that at different times. And it's okay to feel those kinds of feelings. It's okay to feel sad and confused. It's good for us even to feel anxious. And so what can we do with those feelings? Sometimes we just have to feel the feelings and know that they will pass. And one of the strategies that parents can use in terms of helping their kids cope with some of these feelings is to model their own coping strategies. So you may not be able to fix the uncertainty that comes with the COVID-19. We can't fix necessarily what's gonna happen this summer, or know what's going to happen in the fall with school. But what we can do is have a discussion with kids about how to cope with those feelings. And parents can model that coping. So how do you cope with your feeling? How do you cope with stress? Parents often worry about showing their own feelings to their kids. And it's okay within reason to show your feelings, to show that you're stressed, to show that you need space or to walk away. And to tell kids, I'm feeling really stressed out, so I'm gonna do some deep breathing. Or I'm really anxious and upset about something that happened at work, I'm gonna take a break, I'm gonna call a friend. So giving voice to what you already do as a parent, but saying it on purpose so that you're modeling it for your kids. Even just talking about, when I get upset or when I get anxious, my stomach gets grumbling, or I get nauseous, and just connecting the dots for your kids in terms of how to talk about feelings. Again, these are all part of general emotional health and trying to talk about feelings. But especially now during COVID-19 and everything that's going on, it's probably even more important that parents are talking about these types of things with kids. And I said before we wanna sometimes get rid of those feelings. And sometimes we just have to sit with them. We have to tolerate them, and know that they're gonna get better, you might feel better in a little bit. And we have to sit with those feelings in order for that to happen. Another important sort of coping strategy that parents can rely on is social support. So what does that mean? So who's on your team? Who helps you cope? Who do you call when you feel stressed out and wanna talk about something? Who do you call when you need a laugh? Who do you call or who do you text, or who do you write a letter to, who's on your team? And modeling that for kids, teaching kids to identify, well, when you feel upset, or down, or isolated, because of everything that's going on with COVID, who do you call? Who do you text? Who do you wanna write a letter to? Who do you wanna color with, or color for, and send this coloring project to? And so encouraging and teaching kids to develop social supports is another way. These are all in the spirit of helping kids discuss their feelings, and discuss their feelings specifically with respect to COVID-19. The point about having discussions with kids is not only just listening and trying to help them and trying to make sense of their world, it's also about controlling the information you want them to have. There's a lot of information out there. And in part, whether with younger kids or with older kids, it's important to teach kids to be consumers of information, and good information. So as a parent, I would say, definitely try to limit the amount of news and information that comes in via the news into your household, I know that can be hard. It's exceptionally important for smaller kids and younger kids that they don't have as much access to the news. Try to limit your own access to social media, and just reminders of things that are happening with COVID-19. And definitely try to teach kids to manage their own intake. And these discussions may be different whether a child is younger, you may have more control about the information coming in, the middle school age kids to teenagers. And an understanding that there's a lot of information, so discussions around how to be a good consumer of that information. And that's another strategy for these types of discussions with kids.

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COVID-19 Symptoms

People with COVID‑19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Individuals experiencing these symptoms or combination of symptoms may have COVID‑19:

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Cover Coughs

Cough

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Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Or at least two of the symptoms below:

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Fever

Fever

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Chills

Chills

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Repeated shaking with chills

Repeated shaking with chills

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Muscle Pain

Muscle pain

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Headache

Headache

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Sore Throat

Sore throat

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New loss of taste or smell

New loss of taste or smell

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Diarrhea

Diarrhea


This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Your Gratitude Keeps Us Going

The current outpouring of appreciation for New York's healthcare workers has been truly humbling. Our community's grace and optimism in the face of hardship inspires us every day. To all those who have cheered and honored our heroes, and to the many who are giving to support our COVID-19 efforts, Montefiore-Einstein would like to thank you. To those who would like to show their support, here's how.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread by people in close contact (approximately within 6 feet) through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible to contract the virus by touching an infected surface or item and then touching the nose, eyes or mouth. The virus may be able to live on a surface for a prolonged period of time.

Protect Yourself
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Wash Hands
Wash hands frequently with soap
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Avoid Touching eyes and mouth
Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth
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Seek Care
Seek care if you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath
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Avoid Close Contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
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Distance
Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet
Protect Others
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Stay Home
Stay home if you’re unwell
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Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover coughs and sneezes
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Clean and disinfect surfaces
Clean and disinfect surfaces
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Mask
Use a face covering when leaving the home for essentials
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Distance
Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet

Trusted Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The leading national public health institute of the United States
 

NY.gov

For the latest COVID-19 guidelines and information from New York State 

World Health Organization

UN agency responsible for international public health