COVID-19 Resources: So you're positive: Now what?
Knowing what to do when you're told you have COVID-19 can be scary and daunting. Follow these steps to make yourself feel better and prevent the spread of the virus to others.
*Please be aware information changes rapidly as the CDC, government and health officials learn adn adapt. While we make every effort to keep this information as current as possible, the most up to date information can always be found on the CDC's website.
Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and recover at home. It is important that you do not leave your home except to seek medical care. Avoid public transportation ride-sharing or taxis.
Separate yourself from others. As much as possible stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use separate bathrooms and beds, if available.
Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensiles, towels or bedding with other people in your home. Wash these items thoroughly in a dish washer or washing machine in hot water after use. Throw away items such as toothrushes if used while infected.
Get better. Rest and stay hydrated. Manage symptoms as you normally would, i.e. acetaminophen or other fever reducers. Stay in touch with your medical provider and call before seeking care in-person.
If your symptoms worsen or if you have difficulty breathing seek immediate medical attention. Notify the receiving facility that you're on the way in and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Monitor your symptoms. Monitor fevers with an at home thermometer and call a medical provider if your temperature exceeds 101.9 degrees. You can also purchase an inexpensive blood oxygen reader to measure your oxygen levels, pulse and hear rate at home. Normal blood oxygen levels are between 95 and 100%. Call a medical provider if your oxygen (O2) reads under 90%.
Cover your coughs and sneezes; clean your hands often and avoid touching your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze or cough and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
Wash your hands often and after using the restroom, before handling food or beverages, after being in a public space and when they are visibly soiled.
If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person's room or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis and should wear a mask and gloves.
Normal householder cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19 if use according to manufacturers guidelines. Read the labels carefully, paying attention to concentration and disinfection times. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure viruses and germs are killed.
A full list of disinfectants can be found here.
Know when to return to work and other daily life. The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments.
In general, you can stop home isolation under the following conditions
If you have NOT been tested:
- You are fever free for at least 72 hours and have not taken any sort of fever reducer AND
- other symptoms have improved AND
- at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
If you have been tested:
- You no longer have a fever and have not used fever reducers AND
- other symptoms have improved AND
- you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart.