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Question: My daughter-in-law wants to send two of my grandchildren here to stay the night while they are out of school to give her some relief. Should I agree to this or not?
“No, no, no, no, no. That's not a good idea,” Dr. Saphier said. “I know that as a grandparent, you would love to take them in and you want to give your daughter that relief, but bottom line, I assume that you’re probably a little bit older and that means that you’re considerably high risk.”
“Everyone just needs to kind of stay in their house right now. They’re going to be at your house soon enough,” she continued.
Question: I have had a sore throat since Sunday. Should I be self-quarantining?
“You may just have allergies. You may have a cold,” Dr. Saphier said, adding that “the telltale signs of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath, but that doesn't mean that a sore throat isn't also a symptom.”
“If you are just having symptoms in general, that means you probably have some sort of viral infection, whether it's COVID-19 or not,” she continued. “You should just stay home and see if your symptoms get worse or not.”
She went on to say that “chances are you don't have COVID-19 because we have to remember a large amount of Americans won't actually get infected, but we are all kind of just self-isolating right now and being quarantined in our home so just stay there.”
Question: How can the rest of the family stay safe if someone in the household tests positive for coronavirus but is not hospitalized?
“The majority of people who do test positive for COVID-19 do not need to be hospitalized. In fact, 85 to 90 percent won't have to go to the hospital,” Dr. Saphier noted.
“The big thing at that point is, you want to isolate them in the house, which is kind of hard to do in a lot of cases,” she explained. “You want to try to give them their own room, their own bathroom. You want to try to limit face-to-face interaction with them.”
She acknowledged that “it can be tricky” and that “it's possible that everybody else in the house will get the viral infection,” but encouraged people to “do what you can to stay as far away and isolate them as much as possible.”
Question: If someone tested positive, should they wear a mask in the house?
“We’re only saying that we want symptomatic people to be wearing a mask,” Dr. Saphier said, referencing the shortage of protective masks.
“If you can isolate that person and not utilize a face mask, that would be the best case scenario and the truth is when you wear a mask, that's not 100 percent effective either,” she continued. “The biggest way to prevent infection is to just avoid being within close contact within six feet of someone who is positive for the illness, specifically if they are symptomatic.”
Question: While faced with an N95 mask shortage, can wiping down a mask on the outside after each use sanitize the mask so it can be used multiple times?
“Right now the recommendations are that people are reusing your N95 masks as long as they still maintain their seal and they’re not physically dirty on the outside,” Dr. Saphier said.
She went on to say, “What they’re wanting us to do right now is actually to put them in a loose paper bag that's labeled.”
Dr. Saphier said, “The bottom line is, we should not be reusing these masks. We’re doing it because we have to right now.”
“The best thing to do is try to keep it on for as long as you can and not take it on and off because you’re just increasing your risk of self-contamination that way,” she continued.