Steps to Take if You Test Positive for COVID-19

If you are experiencing symptoms that could be COVID-19, it is important to get tested right away. If you test positive, follow these steps.

If you test positive for COVID-19, there are things you need to do to take care of yourself and help stop the spread of disease to others. Most individuals recover from COVID-19 at home, but it is important to know when you should seek further treatment.

Taking Care of Yourself at Home

  • Contact your healthcare provider. Tell them you tested positive for COVID-19 and are home recovering. Based on your underlying health and symptoms you may warrant and benefit from additional treatment that works best when started early.
  • Take it easy. Rest up and stay hydrated. Over-the-counter medications can help manage symptoms.
  • Monitor your symptoms. Report worsening symptoms to your healthcare provider. If your symptoms progress to severe illness, call 911 and notify the responder that you have COVID-19 and are experiencing emergency warning signs:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds

Stopping the Spread of COVID-19 to Others

If you tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, you should stay home an isolate for five days.

  • Stay home unless you need medical care. Don’t go to work or school and avoid public places like stores.
  • Isolate from others. In other words, if you live with other people try to keep your distance by staying in one room and using a separate bathroom if you are able. Don’t share hand towels, cups or utensils.
  • Wear a mask. If you need to be around other people within your home or when seeking medical care, wear a face mask.
  • Wash your hands. After you cough or sneeze, and before you touch shared objects like door handles, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Call your close contacts. Letting others who could have been exposed to COVID-19 know that you are sick allows them the opportunity to quarantine themselves, watch for symptoms and get tested.

Returning to Usual Activities

  • Discontinuing home isolation
    • With mild or moderate disease. If after five full days you are fever-free for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medications) and your symptoms are improving you can end isolation.
    • With severe disease. You should isolate yourself for at least ten days and consult your healthcare provider before ending isolation.
  • Take additional precautions until day 10. You should wear a well-fitting mask any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as a restaurant. Avoid travel and being around others who are at high risk for COVID-19.

Page last updated: January 20, 2022

Freedom From Smoking Clinic
, | May 02, 2022
Freedom From Smoking Clinic
Virginia Beach, VA | May 10, 2022