One of the most worrying aspects of the current spike in COVID-19 cases is the increasing number of people who become severely ill and need to be hospitalised. 

This according to County Medical Officer of Health, County St Andrew/St David Dr Allana Best. 

Speaking during the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Best said there are varying symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, fever or chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of sense of taste and/or smell. 

“One of the worrying things we are seeing in this current surge is the increasing number of persons who are significantly unwell and require hospitalisation,” Best said.  

She said if you have any of these symptoms, you need to visit your nearest health facility to be tested for COVID-19. Once you are swabbed, you will be required to quarantine at home until you get your results. 

“It’s important that you do stay at home, do not go to school, work, the grocery or any other public area while you are on quarantine,” Best said. 

If you are on quarantine, you should take precautions around your family members. Best said masks should be worn as much as possible and separate facilities should be used, if available. She also advised that COVID-positive people should stay away from vulnerable family members as much as possible. 

Best also advised on a number of warning signs to be aware of when your or a family member is COVID-positive. 

She said shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure on the chest, confusion, difficulty to wake up or stay awake and a change in skin tone, where a person looks paler, gray or has a bluish colour on the skin, lips or nail beds are all warning signs. 

“One of the things that we want to avoid is these persons who are being monitored on a daily basis, having these problems stay overnight and they are waiting until the next day for the County-team to call in and check on them,” she said. 

Best said if these symptoms are present, patients or their relatives should call 811 for an ambulance immediately.