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How to manage COVID-19 at home

From learning the basic symptoms to complex medical treatment, doctors are working to help patients treat their coronavirus from the comfort of home.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There are now over 2.5 million coronavirus cases in the United States and health experts say the number is only going to increase as more states and cities open, and testing capabilities nationwide increase

About 80% of those who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to have mild or moderate symptoms, meaning they are able to stay home, and not at a hospital with a little help. 

Hot spots are popping up all over America, including the Carolinas. One nurse was overwhelmed after her ICU shift. 

"You try to reassure them that it's going to be OK," she said. "And then it's not."

As hospitalizations hit new highs, health experts are finding ways for those with mild symptoms to recover where they're most comfortable: their own beds. 

"The more prepared we have the general public, I guarantee the better outcomes we will have," said Dr. Jose Torradas, a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians.

They're offering a free online course in conjunction with the Learning Agency on managing COVID-19 at home. The series of short videos and readings cover everything from the basics, like symptoms, to the more complex matters, like how to use a pulse oximeter.

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They also provide breathing exercises to speed up a patients' recovery. And tips on how to know the illness has advanced past home care.

"Does it seem like you're very 'air hungry'? Are you pulling in between your ribs, what we call air retractions? These are all signs your body is telling you it's time to go to the hospital," Dr. Torradas said.

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"Every video that I'm in, everything that I've done is exactly what I would turn to my parents and say, 'listen, this is what we need to do to stay safe,'" Dr. Torradas explained.

It's another way to help people care for themselves or a loved one as waves of coronavirus impact new communities.

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