Helpful COVID-19 Information from MUSC Health Sports Medicine
This information was sent from MUSC Health Sports Medicine and provides helpful information regarding COVID-19 symptoms, prevention, and testing.
The purpose of this information is to provide our teams, players, coaches, staff and others affiliated with our sports medicine program with information that will help them minimize risk for becoming ill as the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic grows. It is also to provide instruction and guidelines for how to manage active illness and suspected exposure. This is to be used in conjunction with CDC , state and local health guidelines and practices related to COVID-19.
What we do know about this disease is evolving. We expect many people all around the country to be exposed to COVID-19, so it is important for all of us to understand how to limit spread and to protect ourselves as well as those around us. Older people and those with serious health conditions are at highest risk for death from this virus, so it is important that we do everything possible to lower the chances for it to spread.
COVID-19 is transmitted primarily through the air from respiratory droplets, but also saliva and fecal material can harbor the virus. It can easily spread from close person to person contact (6 feet). It is thought to be able to remain alive and infectious for at least three hours in the air and much longer on surfaces. Measures to reduce risk of contracting the virus and to protect ourselves, as well as those around each of us, include: social distancing, hygiene measures, early action in the event of illness, early screening when concerned about illness, and barriers such as special facemasks. The virus can remain infectious in our bodies for up to two weeks as we shed virus particles. So, a prolonged period of time is necessary to allow the virus to run its course.
Shortness of breath
Possibly stomach ache or diarrhea
These are similar symptoms to influenza (flu) as well as other upper respiratory illnesses. Also, this time of year, allergy season is in play and so allergy symptoms can mimic, but allergies typically do not associate with fever, muscle/joint aches, and fatigue.
Fortunately, most young and healthy individuals (like our athletes) will not usually become severely ill but rather have a cold or flu-like illness.
What to do if you have symptoms or exposure:
If you have traveled in an area where the disease is prevalent, have been in contact with anyone known to have disease, or have experienced fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or the symptoms noted above, then please take the following immediate steps:
Distance yourself from other players, staff and friends.
Let one of the MUSC medical staff know your situation.
Do not go to a doctor’s office or the emergency room if you have symptoms (unless you are having difficulty breathing or becoming very ill). Call ahead if you have to make and appointment.
Initiate a screening protocol with MUSC Health using our Virtual Visit (computer or smart phone) at the following web address (Code: COVID19):
MUSC Health Coronavirus Virtual Screening Website: https://campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html
You will need to enter an email address and create a password.
Depending on the results of Virtual Screening, you may be directed to a drive-up screening and testing site located at the MUSC Health West Ashley Medical Pavilion facility at the Citadel mall (parking area). Only go there IF YOU ARE TOLD TO GO.
MUSC Health West Ashley Medical Pavilion
2060 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407
Take caution to not share or mix up drink/food items, cups, etc
Wipe surfaces regularly with Chlorox wipes or similar antiseptic/antiviral wipe.
Remember to wash hands with soap x 20 seconds or use a 60% or higher alcohol based hand sanitizer frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing into the hands, before/after eating/drinking, and after using the restroom.
Social distancing: this basically means to stay at home, monitor your symptoms, check your temperature twice daily with a thermometer and write it down (morning and night). Anything 100.5 or higher is considered elevated.
Controlling virus spread:
If you are sneezing, coughing or have other upper respiratory problems, make sure to:
Cover your mouth with an arm/elbow/hand.
Cough away from people.
Avoid crowds and people who are ill.
Do not share water bottles or other food or drink items.
Be cautious with tissues, clothing and other articles which may hold virus for long periods of time. Make sure to throw tissues in the trash right away and realize that individuals who handle the trash can become infected because of these items.
Prepare to wash linens, towels, and clothing right away after use.
It is important to use gloves when handling the trash if you or those around you have illness and, or at the very least, wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol base.
If you do begin to feel sick, have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or regular sneezing, please immediately distance yourself from others and use the virtual screening system from either your phone or computer. Avoid public spaces until you are screened and cleared. You may be asked to come to the Citadel mall parking area near the MUSC Health clinic where you can be further screened and tested for various illnesses.
Testing: COVID-19 testing is currently limited but we anticipate having more testing available in a few weeks. Tests are most useful when people are either high risk for exposure, high risk for significant illness, or are exhibiting symptoms that would suggest they are infected. Negative tests only show that COVID-19 is not present when the test was done. Infection can be missed or can develop at any point after the test. The precautions above are important all the time, even when someone is tested and the test negative. Healthy individuals and those with minimal symptoms or very low risk (e.g. based on screening) are thought to not need to be routinely tested.
If you are exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19:
Follow the precautions above for two weeks (14 days) and until no symptoms.
Quarantine yourself at home.
Check temperature twice daily and write it down.
Limit contact with others, especially older people and those with medical conditions.
Check in with the MUSC Health Sports Medicine team daily.
If you have symptoms or exposure and do have to go out in public, a special mask (N-95 mask) must be used and this should only be in special circumstances. We have ordered these masks in case they are needed, but supply is very limited right now.
What else you can do to reduce risk of illness and help control spread of COVID-19?
Here are other actions that can help us manage the expected spread of COVID-19 and keep our players,coaches, staff, and public healthy during this pandemic:
Follow precautions all of the time.
Wash hands (soap/water or 60% alcohol based sanitizer) regularly, including around meals, after contact with others, after cough/sneezing, and after restroom breaks.
Let the medical team know if you have symptoms or are concerned that you might have illness. We are here to help you!
Stay healthy by getting rest, drinking fluids, avoiding drinking alcohol, taking a multivitamin (including Vitamin C) dailyTaking allergy medicine daily (includes oral medicines and nasal sprays) to lower the chance of similar symptoms from allergies.
Getting a flu (influenza) shot. The flu season is still active and this can lower the chance of developing similar symptoms from this virus. It will not prevent COVID-19 though.We will help arrange flu shots for those who want to get these.
Clean surfaces you touch often - at least daily (door handles, counter tops, toilets and levers).
Cancel and avoid player public interactions.
Limit contact with pets and animals (there is some thought this virus could be transmitted between animals and humans).
So far, sweat is not though to transmit this virus, BUT sweat can mix with saliva (spit) and nasal fluid (sneezing, blowing your nose onto the ground, wiping the face with your arm), so shower immediately after sweating or workouts and ALWAYS use precautions with towels, soiled clothing, etc.
Thank you all for taking this seriously. It’s up to all of us to be responsible and try our best to minimize the impact of this virus on our community if it does wind up impacting the Charleston area. Please contact any of us if you have questions, concerns, or need help with any of this as things with COVID-19 move along over the next month or more.
Your MUSC Health Sports Medicine Team