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    COVID-19: What to do if you develop symptoms while away from home

In many areas of the U.S. and around the world, people are being told to stay home and avoid travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, travel restrictions may not apply to employees of critical industries, such as trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply. So what should someone do if they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while traveling?

Here's what Dr. Abinash Virk, an infectious diseases expert at Mayo Clinic, says you should do if you're away from home and develop symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Watch: Dr. Virk explains what to do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms while traveling.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites with Dr. Virk are in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy "Abinash Virk, M.D. / Infectious Diseases/ Mayo Clinic."

"If you're traveling and you get sick and you're in a hotel, the first thing that you could do is to call the hotel front desk and see if they have a physician who could guide you, or you could call a local emergency department and get some guidance," Dr, Virk says.

"We are trying to not have patients just walk up to clinics or into emergency departments if they have symptoms of COVID-19, because you may not need to be seen and you may just need to lie low and rest to get better," she says. "We are trying to limit exposure to others. If patients have to be seen and if they have a mask with them, we want them to wear the mask before going to the emergency department. Obviously, if their symptoms are more severe and there's shortness of breath, dizziness or high fever, then the best thing is to call 911."

For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, check the CDC website. For more information and COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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