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Tested positive for COVID-19? Here is what to do next.

  • Category: COVID-19
  • Posted On:
Tested positive for COVID-19? Here is what to do next.

The best plan for dealing with COVID-19 is to avoid it altogether. However, that’s not always possible and some of us will get infected. What you do after discovering you have COVID-19 is very important to helping stop the spread of the virus. Below are some things to do to care for yourself while sick, tips for isolating properly and basic parameters on when you can end your self-isolation.

Note: The most important action you can take is to seek medical care if minor symptoms become more serious. The sooner you seek care, the sooner a treatment plan can be put in place to improve your chances of a quick recovery. If you have any questions about your symptoms, you can always schedule an online primary care or urgent care visit.

How can you care for yourself when you have COVID-19?

  • Get extra rest. It can help you feel better.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. This helps replace fluids lost from fever. Fluids also help ease a scratchy throat. Water, soup, fruit juice, and hot tea with lemon are good choices.
  • Take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) to reduce a fever. It may also help with muscle aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Use petroleum jelly on sore skin. This can help if the skin around your nose and lips becomes sore from rubbing a lot with tissues.

Tips for self-isolation

  • Limit contact with people in your home. If possible, stay in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when you are around other people. It can help stop the spread of the virus when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you have to leave home, avoid crowds and try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • Avoid contact with pets and other animals.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then throw it in the trash right away.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after you cough or sneeze. Use soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don't share personal household items. These include bedding, towels, cups and glasses, and eating utensils.
  • Wash laundry in the warmest water allowed for the fabric type, and dry it completely. It’s okay to wash other people's laundry with yours.
  • Clean and disinfect your home every day. Use household cleaners and disinfectant wipes or sprays. Take special care to clean things that you grab with your hands. These include doorknobs, remote controls, phones, and handles on your refrigerator and microwave. And don't forget countertops, tabletops, bathrooms, and computer keyboards.

When you can end self-isolation

  • If you know or suspect that you have COVID-19, stay in self-isolation until:
    • You haven't had a fever for 24 hours while not taking medicines to lower the fever, and
    • Your symptoms have improved, and
    • It’s been at least 10 days since your symptoms started.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether you also need testing, especially if you have a weakened immune system.
  • Follow all of the advice from health professionals who might contact you about isolating after a positive test.
For more information, make sure to get regular updates here.