Managing COVID-19 At Home With Assistance From Your General Practice
Most people with COVID-19 will be self-managed at home, with regular telehealth consultations (check-ups) with your General Practice. Even when compulsory isolation for a COVID-19 infection is not in effect, we will still seek in the first instance, to manage all COVID-19 positive patients by Telehealth. This is to prevent more vulnerable persons in the clinic from being exposed to COVID-19. If a face-to-face appointment is needed, this can be arranged with your GP at the time of your telehealth consultation.
It is best if you can use video for these check-ups, otherwise phone check-ups will be used. Your doctor will review your vaccination history, past medical history, how your symptoms are going and examination findings like your temperature, pulse rate, breathing rate, blood pressure (if you have a BP machine) and oxygen level (if you have an oximeter).
Anti-viral medications are now available to many Australians and your doctor will assess whether you would benefit from and are eligible for these. These must be started in the first 5 days of symptoms or having a positive COVID-19 test, so making an early appointment with your doctor is essential.
Having a “kit” with some essential items will help to manage your symptoms and also assist your GP in assessing your wellbeing. We recommend the following:
- A thermometer
- Medication to relieve pain and fever (eg Paracetamol or Ibuprofen)
- Enough of your regular medicines
- Masks, hand sanitizer, gloves
- Oral rehydration solutions (eg Gastrolyte/Hydrolyte) especially if you have children at home
- Lozenges or throat spray to assist with sore throat symptoms
- A pulse oximeter can be helpful to monitor your oxygen levels. Most pulse oximeters are not suitable for children.
Other things to consider:
- A plan for how to get food and essential supplies
- A list of phone number for people outside your home you can call for help
- Stay at home activities, especially if you have kids
- A list of helpful numbers for more information
- A list of helpful resources especially around mental health support if needed
- A COVID-19 Action Plan if you are in a higher risk group for serious infection. Your GP can help you with this.
- Practice how to record your pulse rate and breathing rate manually.
Please click on the adjacent link from the RACGP to help you plan for managing COVID-19. This also includes an action plan, symptom diary, how to check your pulse and breathing rates, how to use a pulse oximeter and a list of resources where you can get more help.