Updated on 04/16/2020, 1:45 PM EST

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides payments to taxpayers to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The IRS has started delivering stimulus payments this week to taxpayers who have a direct deposit account on record to receive their income tax returns. Paper checks for those who do not have a direct deposit account on file will go out very soon.

The IRS has created a website for taxpayers to check on the status of their economic impact payments. Click here to access that website.

AmeriLife has created a Frequently Asked Questions document to address many of the questions you may have about the CARES Act stimulus payments. Click here to access that document.

Thermometer Basics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns Americans to be alert to the symptoms of coronavirus disease, which can appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Dry Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fever

A normal temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) or 37 degrees Celsius (°C), although, normal temperatures can vary 1° to 2° F (½° to 1°C).

A fever is generally a sign your body is fighting an infection. In adults, a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) is considered a fever.

The CDC recommends that people exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus disease monitor their temperature, which is a key element to helping to manage the illness.

There are correct ways – and incorrect ways – to take your temperature. Below are instructions from the Cleveland Clinic on how to properly use a thermometer. 

Types of Thermometers

Digital Thermometers
A digital thermometer is a quick and accurate way to take your temperature. These devices can be found in most drug stores and super market pharmacies and range in price from $6 to $20.

How to use a digital thermometer:

    • Wash your hands
    • Rinse the thermometer under cold water, clean with rubbing alcohol, then rinse again to remove the alcohol
    • To avoid inaccurate readings, do not eat or drink anything five minutes before taking your temperature
    • Place the thermometer tip under your tongue; keep your mouth closed
    • Hold the thermometer in place for about 40 seconds; most thermometers will signal when the reading is complete
    • If you are keeping track, record your temperature and the time
    • Rinse the thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol, then rinse again before storing

Tympanic (ear) Thermometers
A tympanic thermometer measures a temperature by reading the infrared heat inside an ear and generally costs less than $30. This type of thermometer is quick and easy to use on babies (older than three months) and children.

How to use a tympanic thermometer:

    • Place a protective cover on the tip of the thermometer
    • Pull back gently on the top of the ear to open the ear canal
    • Gently insert the thermometer until the ear canal is fully sealed off
    • Press and hold down the button for 1-2 seconds until the thermometer beeps (follow the manufacturer’s instructions)
    • Remove the thermometer, discard the protective cover, record the temperature and time

Can I use a mercury glass thermometer?
No. While your family may have used a mercury glass thermometer while you were growing up, there are a number of reasons not to use this devise:

    • Difficult to read
    • Can provide inaccurate information
    • Mercury is a poison that has the risk of killing you if the glass were to break

If you have an old, mercury glass thermometer, contact your local waste department for instructions on how to dispose of hazardous waste properly.

CDC Recommendations if You are Sick
During the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC recommends that you follow these steps if you have the coronavirus disease or think you might have it:

  • Stay home, except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home
  • Monitor your symptoms, including your fever
  • Seek medical attention if you have the following
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or the inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

Think you might have coronavirus disease? The CDC has an interactive self-check function on its website. Click here to read more about coronavirus testing and to access the self-checker.

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