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COVID-19 RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

June 09, 2020

What do I do if I think I was exposed to coronavirus? 

Watch for symptoms

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms — ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Use the CDC’s self-checker to help make decisions and seek appropriate medical care regarding COVID-19.

You may have COVID-19 if you have these symptoms or combinations of symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness.

This list is not all inclusive. Talk to your healthcare provider about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Get tested

If you are concerned about your status, get tested for COVID-19 right away. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can get tested. 

Find testing sites for walk-up and drive-thru testing. Testing differs by location. More and more sites offer rapid tests and antibody testing. 

See more information about symptoms and testing for COVID-19 and what to do if you were exposed to coronavirus.

What do I do if I am sick? 

 

Stop the spread when you’re sick

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. 

If you are sick with a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or cough, have trouble breathing, or suspect you have COVID-19, here’s how to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community:

Self-isolate at home

If you’re mildly ill with COVID-19, isolate at home during the illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Stay away from others

As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Avoid all contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. 

Why? Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask. 

Wear a facemask if you are sick

If you are sick, wear a facemask around other people. 

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then cover your coughs and sneezes. People caring for you should wear a facemask around you. 

Practice everyday habits to prevent spreading COVID-19

See more information about what to do if you’re sick with COVID-19.

How do I prevent and prepare for COVID-19? 

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus (and avoid exposing other people). Here’s how:

Practice social distancing

If you are around other people, keep 6 feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings and close quarters. 

Why? The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the coronavirus if the person coughing has the disease.

Wear a cloth face cover in public

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others and out in public, such as the grocery store.

Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Don’t place a cloth face cover on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or any who is unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Why? You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. 

Cover coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.

Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

If surfaces are dirty, first clean with detergent or soap and water, and then disinfect. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants, diluted household bleach solutions, and alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol will work. See how to make a bleach solution if disinfectants are not available.

See more information about preparing for COVID-19 and protecting yourself, your family and your home.

Bay County COVID-19 Testing 

Bay County will open a second COVID-19 testing site at the Panama City Beach Sports Park at 50 Chip Seal Parkway, Panama City Beach beginning Monday, Nov. 23. The site will offer free, by-appointment, rapid result coronavirus tests to the public on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Lynn Haven Sports Park site, at 2201 Recreation Dr., Lynn Haven, is also available for by-appointment testing.
Each site can test up to 500 people per day for the novel coronavirus and results are available within 20 minutes.
“We are beginning to see an uptick in the number of cases in Bay County, and we want to make sure we’re doing all that we can to help curb the spread of this disease, especially when we’re so close to having an approved vaccine,” Bay County Commission Chairman Robert Carroll said.
Bay County has provided, with assistance from the state of Florida and federal government, free testing since July via a third-party provider.
To make an appointment for a test, visit bayhealthcovid19.com and fill out a short medical questionnaire. Insurance information is not necessary and may be skipped by stating “no insurance” on the questionnaire. Photo identification is required upon arrival for an appointment.
The tests are available to children 5 and older, though minors must be accompanied by an adult.
The hours of operation for each testing site are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The testing sites will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26 and 27, in observation of the Thanksgiving holidays.

COVID-19 Testing at DOH-Bay 

DOH-Bay is now testing anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been a close contact to someone with COVID-19, including children, at the 597 W. 11th St. location. For screening, please call DOH-Bay at (850) 872-4455 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and follow the prompts. Testing is by appointment only.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nauseau or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Other COVID-19 Testing 

Other community partners and private practitioners are also providing COVID-19 testing. Please click on the link below for additional information on criteria and process.

 
COVID-19 Testing Flyers
COVID-19 Testing General- 03_CHD_Bay:_files/_documents/covidtestinggen.pdf
COVID-19 Testing General (Espanol)- 03_CHD_Bay:_files/_documents/spanishgentesting.pdf

(Please note these .pdf files will open in a new window)

DOH-Bay Test Results 

If you have been tested by DOH-Bay, please answer the call from the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 results line at (833) 917-2880. They will ask for a name and date of birth to provide you with a negative test result. This number is legitimate and is a Department of Health sponsored initiative. Caller ID should identify the call as FL DOH. This will provide support to DOH-Bay so that we can focus on contacting positives persons and case investigations. Please note callers will not ask for social security numbers or medical information. 

If you need physical copies of your COVID-19 test results, please follow the directions below.

Phone: Call (850) 872-4455 and follow the prompts to COVID test results prompts and request the status with the representative. You will be provided with the option to obtain your results in person (if negative) or electronically (negative or positive).

Office: If you come to our office, do not get out of your car. Please call (850) 872-4455 and follow the COVID test results prompts. Please let us know you are in the parking lot and we will deliver your results to you in your vehicle.

Email: You can make your request by emailing baymedicalrecords@flhealth.gov. After you complete the authorization form, you will need to respond with a picture of your photo ID and we will send your result to you via an encrypted email. The email must be viewed on a desktop or laptop PC as the encryption is not mobile friendly.

For your results to be released to someone else, you must complete a medical disclosure form (Please note clicking on the link will open the .pdf file in a new window). 

For testing at other locations, please contact the provider or testing site where you were tested.

Bay County COVID-19 Data on Weekends and Holidays 

Beginning, August 15, DOH-Bay will not provide COVID-19 news releases on the weekends. Monday’s release will include data from Saturday and Sunday. The https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/#latest-stats has links to State and County reports, line lists of cases, and the COVID-19 dashboard and will continue to be updated daily. Please refer to those for updates for Bay County on weekends and holidays.

Immunizations by Appointment Only 

Immunizations, including back to school shots, are by appointment only. Please call (850) 872-4455 to schedule an appointment for child vaccines, adult vaccines, religious exemption, immigration vaccines, and international travel vaccines. If you need out of state records transferred to Florida 680 Form, 680 Form, or College Forms you do not need an appointment. You can request these services via email at baymedicalrecords@flhealth.gov. A call back will be provided when these forms are ready.

Mental Health 

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people of all ages. Fear and anxiety about the unknown can sometimes feel overwhelming to adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call Bay County's Crisis line at (850) 522-4485. 

Public Services 

The United Way of Northwest Florida is providing information on public services and resources available in our area including food banks. Please visit their dedicated webpage at http://unitedwaynwfl.org/covid-19/. You may also utilize their 211 service for referrals, just call 211 from any phone or visit https://211nwfl.communityos.org/. 

Rebuild Bay County may have resources available to assist persons in need. Visit https://rebuildbaycounty.org/for more information. 

Convalescent Plasma and Blood Donations 

OneBlood says they are experiencing a 500% increase in hospital orders for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma (CPP) is plasma collected from people who have recovered from the coronavirus. People who recover from coronavirus infection have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.

The experimental treatment is approved by the FDA to be used on an emergency basis and is called COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Patients who meet the FDA criteria can receive convalescent plasma.

OneBlood is working closely with the Florida Department of Health and directly with their hospital partners and physicians to identify people who have recovered from COVID-19 to be potential donors.  

There is also always a need for blood donations. OneBlood is testing all blood donations for coronavirus antibody. Results will be available online within 24 to 48 hours. Appointments are recommended. To learn more visit www.oneblood.org.

For More Information 

For text alert updates from the Florida Department of Health in Bay County, text “bayhealth” to 888-777. For additional information specific to Bay County, visit BayHealthCOVID19.com. Contact the Citizens Information Center seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (850) 248-6090, or email ask@baycountyfl.gov.

For state-level text alerts, text FLCOVID19 to 888-777. To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 website at FloridaHealthCOVID19.gov. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, please visit the travel advisory website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, call (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

The free StrongerThanC19 app is available to both iOS and Android users and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google app stores. The StrongerThanC19 app and website are designed to gather information to help the Department of Health track and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida; they are not intended to be used as a symptom checker designed to dispense medical advice.

Additional Resources