The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is providing guidelines on when those with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, should call 9-1-1 and when they should call a primary care physician.
Call 911 for severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. CDPHE says do not wait for the results of a COVI-19 test to call 911.
Call a health care provider for shortness of breath or other serious symptoms. CDPHE says to continue to self-isolate if symptoms are becoming more severe.
For people with mild symptoms:
- Early on, symptoms may feel like a common cold, including a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness.
- People who are not at high risk of severe illness may not need to be evaluated in-person or tested for COVID-19. Not everyone with symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 will be tested right away.
- If you have mild symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or suspect that you were exposed but are not able to be immediately tested, please stay home and avoid contact with others. Isolate yourself until:
- You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that’s 3 days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
- other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
- At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
- Use over-the-counter medication to treat mild symptoms. There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19.
The 911 system is not intended for minor injuries or general medical questions. CDPHE says those seeking general advice or wishing to be tested for COVID-19 should call 911.
The guidelines were issued as health officials reported the first coronavirus-related death of an Eagle County resident, a male in his 60s with underlying health conditions. He died at a Denver-area hospital.