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When would you stay home?


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#1 BadCat

Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:18 PM

Some guidelines suggest we should stay home if we have "respiratory symptoms".

What do you take that to mean?

Say you had a bit of a sniffle, croaky throat, no fever, not really feeling unwell... appears to be a very mild very common cold. What would you do?

What would it take for you to stay at home for the day?  For the week?  For a 2 week isolation period?

#2 Lou-bags

Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:22 PM

For me I would stay home with any cold or flu symptoms at all if I'd been to any of the high risk countries/locations or if I'd had close contact with anyone who had visited them, or someone who had confirmed SARS-CoV-2.

But, as it stands now I am not in that situation. So for mild regular cold symptoms (stuffy nose, runny nose etc), I'd up my hand washing and practice social distancing. And if I developed a cough or fever, I'd stay home and probably call for advice from the hotline, or healthdirect, or my GP.



Edited to add:
Sorry, so to answer this question specifically:

"Say you had a bit of a sniffle, croaky throat, no fever, not really feeling unwell... appears to be a very mild very common cold. What would you do?"


I would go to work, but wash my hands a lot more (also hand sanitiser), and practice social distancing. I don't have a job that requires close contact with others so this would not be difficult.

Edited by Lou-bags, 09 March 2020 - 12:24 PM.


#3 lozoodle

Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:28 PM

I've been working with a niggly throat / cold situation for the past four weeks, along with what seems like the rest of Sydney by the sounds of the people on public transport / in the office / at the kids school right now.

I'll stay home when I actually feel unwell or have a fever.

#4 BadCat

Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:32 PM

Assume you have no known contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case and have not travelled o/s recently.

#5 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:32 PM

Common cold symptoms I wouldn't stay home but would avoid holding babies etc.  I wash my hands well always.  I also get allergies so its hard for me to differentiate this from a cold.

If I had been in contact with anyone who had been to a risky country recently then I would go to doctors for confirmation before isolating as per their instructions.

#6 seayork2002

Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:38 PM

View PostBadCat, on 09 March 2020 - 12:32 PM, said:

Assume you have no known contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case and have not travelled o/s recently.

Then I would be acting like normal, I can't say 100% with each symptom same as if this virus didn't exist.

If I can stay home I will if I am not well, if there is a chance I am contagious (with 'normal' illness) I will not go out.

I have a dust allergy and DH has hayfever so if we know it is this we still carry on like normal

Basically I am not doing anything differently because of the virus but don't want to spread germs deliberately either regardless of virus

#7 *Spikey*

Posted 09 March 2020 - 12:44 PM

I had what I thought was an annoying cold, courtesy of the germ moshpit, that is most schools.

I didn't take time off until the bug kicked into a higher gear and prevented me from getting proper sleep - so I was really 'groggy' and out of it. I knew I couldn't drive, so I went to the GP instead.

Not C-19, it was parainfluenza, which is doing the rounds of the ACT and surrounds at the moment.

#8 GlitteryElfFarts

Posted 09 March 2020 - 01:47 PM

DH was on his way to work this morning and one of the girls he works with rang and was coughing and spluttering. He told her to stay home and her reply was “No way, I am not wasting my sick days on a lousy cough.”
So he told her not to come near him today.
It was bad enough he had to venture out on his lunch break to drop some forms in to the hospital admissions.

All we need to buy for the coming month or 2 is a little more meat, and some F&V.

#9 3rd time lucky

Posted 09 March 2020 - 01:53 PM

My rule is no school/ work if you have a temp, green snot, or vomiting/ diarrhoea (and I don’t go back/ send kids back til at least 24hrs clear of gastro symptoms).

That’s all assuming no overseas contacts etc.

I definitely still head to work with mild cold symptoms. I just dose up on Sudafed, and sanitise my hands constantly. I work in an office where we are in pods and each have our own desk - not shared space.

It makes you wonder about this new trend of hot desking. Seems a recipe for germ spreading!

#10 Abcde-La-A

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:00 PM

I had a mild cold/sniffle last week and continued to go to work as normal. I haven’t travelled or been in contact with anyone diagnosed or who has travelled recently. Didn’t have a fever. No diagnosed cases in my area at all. Risk seemed low. I kept up my good hygiene practices and kept my distance from colleagues, just as I would anytime I had a cold. If there had been confirmed cases nearby I might have stayed home but it seemed like overkill at this stage.

#11 CrankyM

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:09 PM

A mild cough and sniffle and no fever I would go to work as normal. I would likely be more vigalenth with hand washing and wiping down common surfaces and staying away from most people.

Then again I send a kid last week to school with similar symptoms. He got it from school, so it's not like it's not there already. If he was running a fever I'd have kept him home. No cases anywhere near here.

#12 DaLittleEd

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:09 PM

View Post3rd time lucky, on 09 March 2020 - 01:53 PM, said:

My rule is no school/ work if you have a temp, green snot, or vomiting/ diarrhoea (and I don’t go back/ send kids back til at least 24hrs clear of gastro

I never understood people fearing green snot. For both DD and I, we get green snot AFTER a cold when we are feeling better, as a secondary sinus infection. We are not infectious at this stage. It is the clear/white snot at the start that is infectious for us.

#13 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:12 PM

I really don’t know!  It’s a great question.  We know 2 very immune compromised people at our school  -  a recipient of a donor organ and another a child with cystic fibrosis in my child’s class, so I’d probably err on the side of caution when my kids or I first felt symptomatic and see if it progressed.

#14 UndergroundKelpie

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:15 PM

View Post3rd time lucky, on 09 March 2020 - 01:53 PM, said:

My rule is no school/ work if you have a temp, green snot, or vomiting/ diarrhoea (and I don’t go back/ send kids back til at least 24hrs clear of gastro symptoms).

That’s all assuming no overseas contacts etc.

I definitely still head to work with mild cold symptoms. I just dose up on Sudafed, and sanitise my hands constantly. I work in an office where we are in pods and each have our own desk - not shared space.

It makes you wonder about this new trend of hot desking. Seems a recipe for germ spreading!

I am always vomiting and the runs. I average 5 vomits a day and 15 poops most of the time blood tinged. I have severe GERD. If I was to stay home from vomiting, I wouldn't go anywhere.

#15 Babetty

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:30 PM

I had a cold a week or so ago. I did have a day and a half off work as I felt pretty groggy, but I did go to work in the early stages.

I did not have any fever, which seems to be one of the most common symptoms, nor have a travelled or had any contact with anyone exposed. I'm also in Brisbane which does not seem to have any "community transmission" cases yet.

Lots of hand washing etc.

#16 Lou-bags

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:34 PM

View PostDaLittleEd, on 09 March 2020 - 02:09 PM, said:

I never understood people fearing green snot. For both DD and I, we get green snot AFTER a cold when we are feeling better, as a secondary sinus infection. We are not infectious at this stage. It is the clear/white snot at the start that is infectious for us.

I do agree on the weirdness and pervasiveness of the green snot fear (I even had a friend who's daycare would exclude kids with green snot but not clear- wtf).

But, the colour of the mucus changing to greenish is due to the effects of the immune system: the inflammatory process and the influx of immune cells. You can't tell very much at all about how infectious your snot is based on colour.

I think it's reasonable to say that you'd be less contagious once the snot begins to change colour- because this typically occurs as you begin to improve and the viral load in your body begins to decline, so the amount of virus in your secretions is tapering off. But your nasal secretions are still likely to contain virus and therefore to be infectious.

Secondary bacterial infections do also occur of course, and these can impact on the colour of nasal secretions too. But the bacteria causing the infection may also potentially infectious.

People should consider themselves contagious (for respiratory viruses at least, though this extends to most other things) for as long as they are experiencing any symptoms.

#17 zenkitty

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:48 PM

I’m really struggling with this question at the moment. I haven’t travelled and don’t believe I have had contact with a case but I can’t say for certain, I take the tram every day, treat patients with flu-like symptoms, etc. I would ordinarily say you’re fine if no fever, not feeling unwell, just isolated mild head cold symptoms. I would ensure stringent hand hygiene, monitor my symptoms and take decongestants to try and dry up my nose so I’m not needing to blow it too often. I work with elderly and immunocompromised patients and have never been considered irresponsible due to this common approach. I manage others and will send them home if they are obviously symptomatic - you can’t care for a lung transplant recipient if you’re coughing or blowing your nose every two minutes.

Now I see that the Victorian health minister thinks otherwise I will be very interested to hear what my workplace says tomorrow (public health organisation). If every runny nose needs testing, we will absolutely have to cancel services, if that’s what the department wants so be it.

It is very worrying to me that our registration with AHPRA could be questioned if we attend work with a cold. Imagine losing your career because you were trying to do the right thing and not let people down?

#18 liveworkplay

Posted 09 March 2020 - 02:53 PM

View PostBadCat, on 09 March 2020 - 12:32 PM, said:

Assume you have no known contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case and have not travelled o/s recently.

I would, and did last week, go to work. e have all had a cold of varying degrees in this house. I had one day off work, DH had 2.5 and kids have had a t least one day off school. We have had no contact with people returning from OS and up until yesterday only one case in the state which is in another city. No real fever just sore throat, DH and DD3 had a cough and just runny noses and vertigo and tiredness...nothing major.

Edited by liveworkplay, 09 March 2020 - 02:54 PM.


#19 blimkybill

Posted 09 March 2020 - 03:02 PM

In my line of work we are tightening up our risk management around Covid19 so for a while, no I would not go to work with even mild cold symptoms. Even though generally i might.

#20 purplekitty

Posted 09 March 2020 - 03:04 PM

View Postzenkitty, on 09 March 2020 - 02:48 PM, said:

Now I see that the Victorian health minister thinks otherwise I will be very interested to hear what my workplace says tomorrow (public health organisation). If every runny nose needs testing, we will absolutely have to cancel services, if that’s what the department wants so be it.

It is very worrying to me that our registration with AHPRA could be questioned if we attend work with a cold. Imagine losing your career because you were trying to do the right thing and not let people down?
You know the individual hospitals are going to contradict that.
Testing means quarantine until results come through.

#21 zenkitty

Posted 09 March 2020 - 03:06 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 09 March 2020 - 03:02 PM, said:

In my line of work we are tightening up our risk management around Covid19 so for a while, no I would not go to work with even mild cold symptoms. Even though generally i might.

How are you managing the workload? If my workplace goes with that policy I absolutely would, I’m just feeling nauseous about the consequences. Thinking about all the people with young children and daycare colds, etc. we could have significant numbers off at any one time.

#22 Lifesgood

Posted 09 March 2020 - 03:09 PM

View PostBadCat, on 09 March 2020 - 12:18 PM, said:

Say you had a bit of a sniffle, croaky throat, no fever, not really feeling unwell... appears to be a very mild very common cold. What would you do?

What would it take for you to stay at home for the day?  For the week?  For a 2 week isolation period?

I think its reasonably straightforward.

For mild common cold symptoms I would take the day off and see if it is actually a virus or just hayfever. I would take an antihistamine to see if that clears it (if yes=hayfever), and I would rest, have fluids and paracetamol to see if it clears up that day.

I would see a doctor if I was sick enough that I needed to take a week off as I would need a certificate.

If the doctor then diagnosed me with COVID-19 I would take the two weeks minimum plus any extra time required to recover.

#23 3rd time lucky

Posted 09 March 2020 - 03:09 PM

I actually didn’t know that info re clear and green snot! The things you learn on EB!

Underground Kelpie - I should have clarified, vomiting/ diarrhoea to go with a gastro type bug (not something non contagious like you have)...

#24 zenkitty

Posted 09 March 2020 - 03:13 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 09 March 2020 - 03:04 PM, said:


You know the individual hospitals are going to contradict that.
Testing means quarantine until results come through.

Yes I suspect that, but we’re getting into muddy waters when the government has one position and health services have another.

Some hospitals have also told staff that their booked leave may be cancelled at any time if the government deems it necessary. We are effectively public servants and what the government says matters.

#25 blimkybill

Posted 09 March 2020 - 03:42 PM

View Postzenkitty, on 09 March 2020 - 03:06 PM, said:

How are you managing the workload? If my workplace goes with that policy I absolutely would, I’m just feeling nauseous about the consequences. Thinking about all the people with young children and daycare colds, etc. we could have significant numbers off at any one time.
Our kind of work is not essential. people will go without their service, and we will go without income. I am prepared to possibly not earn much this winter.




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