If You Are Sick

What to Do If You Are Sick: 

  1. Stay home except to get medical care
    • Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. 
    • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs or think it is an emergency. The following are emergency warning signs: 
      • Trouble breathing
      • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
      • New confusion or inability to arouse
      • Bluish lips or face
      • Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. 
    • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. 
  2. Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation. 
    • Stay away from others: As much as possibly, you stay away from others. You should stay in a specific “sick room” if possible, and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available. 
  3. Call ahead before visiting your doctor
    • Call ahead: Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine. 
    • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients. 
  4. If you are sick wear a facemark in the following situations, if available: 
    • If you are sick: You should wear a facemark, if available, when you are around other people (including before you enter a healthcare provider’s office).
    • If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemark (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then as their caregiver, you should wear a facemask when in the same room with them. Visitors, other than caregivers, are not recommended. 
      • Note: During this public health emergency, facemasks may be reserved for healthcare workers. You may need to improvise a facemark using a scarf or bandana. 
  5. Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. 
    • Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. 
    • Wash hands: Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  6. Clean your hands often. 
    • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. 
    • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. 
    • Soap and water: Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty. 
    • Avoid touching: Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  7. Avoid sharing personal household items.
    • Do not share: Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. 
    • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher. 
  8. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday. 
    • Clean high-touch surfaces in your isolation area (“sick room” and bathroom) every day; let the caregiver clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home. 
    • High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. 
    • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. 
  9. Monitor your symptoms
    • Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough. Trouble breathing and loss of sense of smell and taste are more serious symptoms that mean you should get medical attention. 
    • If you have trouble breathing, seek medical attention, but calll first. 
      • Call your doctor or emergency room before going in and tell them you symptoms. They will tell you what to do. 
      • What a facemask: if available, put on a facemask before you enter the building. If you can’t put on a facemask, cover your coughs and sneezes. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will protect the people in the office or waiting room. 
      • Follow care instruction from your healthcare provider and local health department: Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information. 
    • Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives. 
  10. How to discontinue home isolation
    • People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions: 
      • If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened: 
        • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three fill days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
        • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
        • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. 
      • If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened: 
        • You no longer have a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fever) AND
        • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
        • You received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart.