With early symptoms of COVID-19 resembling the common cold figuring out when and how to reach out for help can be tricky.

So, to lessen the load on local EMS services and help people get the help they need Bent County Public Health Director Omer Tamir shared some information from the Colorado Department of Public Health to help. For those who have symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, there are some alternatives to in-person care.

Some alternatives are to ask your primary care provider if they offer telehealth visits, Colorado also has a nurseline you can call. A list of nurselines can be found on the health departments website at covid19.colorado.gov/telehealth-nurselines-directory.

For people exhibiting mild symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath or you suspect you have been exposed to the virus, CDPHE has a few recommendations. The first is to stay at home and isolate yourself until you have had no fever for at least three days, your symptoms have improved and at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Another recommendation to treat the mild symptoms of COVID-19 according to the CDPHE is to take over the counter medications. They also recommend not calling 911 for minor injuries or general medical questions.

So, people interested in learning more about Coronavirus can visit covid19.colorado.gov or call 303-389-1687 for general questions about the virus.

For people experiencing more serious symptoms, especially shortness of breath the recommendation by CDPHE is to continue to self-isolate and call your healthcare provider as they may then recommend you for testing. Another option is a telehealth visit or nurseline advice.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms including, severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing they suggest calling 911 and telling the dispatcher your symptoms. They also recommended not waiting for a test in this event and call 911 in the event of an emergency.

It is recommended to call 911 for symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, difficulty breathing, choking, difficulty speaking, walking or seeing, severe allergic reactions, confusion, dizziness or disorientation and sudden or severe pain.

To stay up to date with the latest developments of COVID-19 you can visit covid19.colorado.gov to learn more.

jconlan@ljtdmail.com