MCFRS logoViral Infection Home Care Instructions

The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service evaluated you today _________________ for an apparent viral respiratory infection (e.g., influenza, COVID-19, and other common respiratory viruses).  At this time your illness does not require you to go to an emergency department and we believe you would be better served by not being transported.  Your vital signs are within acceptable ranges, including your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level.

It is important that you continue to treat your symptoms, monitor your own condition, and take steps to prevent spreading the infection to others.

You should follow the steps below:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.  Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay very well-hydrated. Drink non-carbonated fluids. Avoid alcohol.
  • Take ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as needed for fever or body aches, unless you have previously been told not to use these medicines.  For adults, the recommended dose for ibuprofen is 400 or 600 mg every 6 hours, and for acetaminophen the dose is 650 mg every 4 hours.  For children, consult medication packaging for appropriate weight-based dosing.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home.  Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • If you need follow-up care, call your healthcare provider before going there.  Call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have the flu, COVID-19, or similar respiratory illness.  Advise your healthcare provider that you called 911 and were screened by EMS and told at that time that you may remain at home.  Your health care provider may arrange a follow-up visit with you in person or via telehealth.  Alerting your health care provider in this way will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • Wear a facemask if you have one, particularly when you are around other people or pets (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items, such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils towels, or bedding with other people or pets.  After using, wash them thoroughly.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.‚Äč
Monitor your symptoms

If you are in any way worsening, please seek care by contacting your doctor, going to an urgent care center, or going to your nearest emergency department for further evaluation and treatment of your condition. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • High or persistent fevers, vomiting, trouble breathing or shortness of breath, coughing up blood, severe headaches, neck pain/stiffness, or any new or worsening symptoms or concerns. 
  • If you are unable to walk or you are experiencing shortness of breath that limits your ability to go by private car, please call 9-1-1. 

Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider, if possible, and tell them that you have a respiratory infection. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 9-1-1, notify the operator that you have a respiratory infection and EMS has responded once to you regarding your symptoms.  If possible, put on a facemask before EMS arrives.

Discontinuing home isolation

If your doctor or local health department advises you to remain on home isolation precautions, please contact them for advice for when it is appropriate to discontinue this and resume normal daily activities.

If you have not been advised about home isolation precautions by your doctor or local health department, please stay home when you are sick and until there is no fever for a minimum of 24 hours without medicine like Tylenol, Motrin, or Advil.

If possible, a representative of the Fire & Rescue Service may check up on you within 24 hours.  Please answer the phone if we call or text.  You may be contacted from numbers such as 205-797-xxxx or 240-810-xxxx.

For more information please check the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services website or the state of Maryland’s website at:

Recommendations related to coronavirus may change over time. Please check the CDC website for updates on home quarantine, preventing disease spread, and treatment:

Telehealth Resources to consider:

  1.  LiveHealth Online (Blue Cross)
  2.  Teladoc (Aetna)
  3.  KPNow (Kaiser)
  4.  Cigna Telehealth (Cigna)