What to do if you are sick with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
Follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.
Stay home except to get medical care
- Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Rest and stay hydrated.
- 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. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
- Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. Do not travel.
Separate yourself from other people in your home
- Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home especially those who are high-risk: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Keep a safe distance from other people in your home (at least 6 feet away).
- Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/animals.html
Call ahead before visiting your doctor
- If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office or emergency department, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients
Wear a facemask IF YOU ARE SICK
- You should wear a facemask, if available, when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you do not have a facemask, cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue and perform frequent hand hygiene.
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.
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often 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, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
- Clean high-touch surfaces in your isolation area (“sick room” and bathroom) every day; let a 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.
- Most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. A full list of disinfectants can be found here: www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-ndisinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
Monitor for worsening symptoms
- Seek medical attention immediately, call your doctor’s office or ED to notify them of your arrival, if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing).
- Emergency warning signs include:
» Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
» Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
» New confusion or inability to arouse
» Bluish lips or face
Note: This is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
When to stop home isolation
- People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation after consultation with your healthcare provider, your occupational health department, and the state/local health department
- If you suspect COVID-19 but have not been tested you should stay home until you have been without symptoms (fever, cough) for 72 hours.