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SCREENING FOR COVID-19 What To Do If You Get Sick

By FDOH Escambia

March 13, 2020

Pensacola, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) encourages our residents and visitors to take steps to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses such as cold and the flu as well as COVID-19. Everyone can do their part to help. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus.

Screen Yourself and Call First

If you become sick, review the screening criteria for COVID-19:

  • Are you over 65 years old with chronic medical conditions and are experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath? Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
  • Have you returned from international travel or been on a cruise within the last 14 days?
  • Have you been around someone diagnosed with COVID-19? 

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, contact your healthcare provider or your local county health department (CHD). Call, do not visit, your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms and your travel history or exposure to a COVID-19 patient. It’s important to call ahead before visiting your health care provider. Offices must take proper steps to avoid further spread of COVID-19 when a concerned patient arrives for a medical evaluation. 

Take Steps to Protect Against Spreading Viruses

If you are mildly ill, follow these tips to help prevent spreading it to other people:

  • Do not go to the emergency department if you are only a little sick. The emergency department should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. The CDC has guidance on what to do if you are sick from a mild viral illness: and
  • Stay at home while you are sick and keep children out of school or daycare while they are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.
  • Move away from people before coughing or sneezing.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away.
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs. 

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) works continuously with all our community partners to ensure that everyone is prepared in the eventuality of infectious disease spread. Please visit the Department's dedicated COVID-19 webpage at The webpage remains the best and most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida. 

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121 or emailing The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

The CDC also has a website with information related to COVID-19:


About the Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.


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