If you are sick with COVID-19 or being evaluated for infection
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are being evaluated (i.e., waiting for test results) for COVID-19 infection by a health care provider and sent home to recover, you’ll be asked to stay home and monitor your symptoms to help prevent the disease from spreading to other people in your home and community. Other people you live with and those you had close contact with during the time you became sick, also will be asked to take specific actions to monitor for symptoms of illness and prevent further spread to others.
Staying home and avoiding contact with others
Staying home and avoiding physical contact with others is an important prevention step you can take to protect others from being infected and spreading further into the community. It can also be difficult, at times, as it may leave you feeling isolated, or alone. Calling up friends and using mobile video chats can be great ways to stay connected even when physically apart.
Please follow these guidelines during your home isolation period:
- If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should: Stay home and away from others for 10 days after your COVID-19 testing AND 72 hours (3 days) after your fever and symptoms of respiratory infection are gone, without using fever-reducing medications. Once these conditions are met, you can discontinue home isolation and resume your normal activities.
- If you have a fever and respiratory symptoms and have NOT tested positive for COVID-19, you should: Stay home and away from others until 72 hours after your fever (100.4° F or greater) and symptoms of respiratory infection are gone, without using fever-reducing medications. Once symptoms have been gone for 72 hours, you can resume normal activities.
- Stay away from others. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
- Do not go to work, school or any public areas. Have someone help you with essential tasks like grocery shopping.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.
- Wear a facemask when in the same room with other people and when you visit a healthcare provider. If you do not have a facemask, you can use a bandana or scarf to cover your mouth and nose as an alternative.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid sharing household items like dishes, cups, eating utensils, and bedding.
- Clean and disinfect: Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs.
Recovering & monitoring your symptoms
Most people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 fully recover at home with plenty of rest and lots of fluids. There is no medical treatment or cure for COVID-19. Over-the-counter medicines may help with symptoms; check with your healthcare provider about the best care plan for you.
If symptoms become severe, such as having difficulty breathing, seek medical care immediately. If you need to see a healthcare provider, please call ahead to tell them you are a close contact of someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19 OR who has a respiratory infection. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel. This will help the healthcare provider or first responders take steps to protect themselves from infection.
ADULTS OVER 60 AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEVERE CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITIONS LIKE HEAR, LUNG DISEASE OR DIABETES ARE AT HIGHER RISK FOR MORE SERIOUS COVID-19 ILLNESS. IF SYMPTOMS WORSEN, ESPECIALLY IF DIFFICULTY BREATHING, SEEK MEDICAL CARE IMMEDIATELY.