What do I do if I’m sick?

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and show symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or County Health Department immediately.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. 

If you are sick with a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or cough, have trouble breathing, or suspect you have COVID-19, here’s how to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

 

Self-isolate at home

If you’re mildly ill with COVID-19, isolate at home during the illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

 

Stay away from others

As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Avoid all contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. 

Why? Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask. 

 

Wear a facemask if you are sick

If you are sick, wear a facemask around other people. 

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then cover your coughs and sneezes. People caring for you should wear a facemask around you. 

 

Practice everyday habits to prevent spreading COVID-19

See the best ways to avoid exposing other people to COVID-19.

 

See more information about what to do if you’re sick with COVID-19.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.

The time between exposure to the COVID-19 virus and onset of symptoms is called the “incubation period.” The incubation period for COVID-19 is typically 2 to 14 days, although in some cases it may be longer.

If you are returning from an area with an outbreak of COVID-19 the CDC is recommending you self-quarantine for 14 days immediately upon returning from your travels, even if asymptomatic. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath during those 14 days contact your health care professional and mention your recent travel. Your provider will work with your county public health department to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from an impacted area, you should call a health care professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel.  For the most updated travel advisories regarding COVID-19, visit: U.S. Travel Advisories and CDC Information for Travel.

Respiratory swabs (nose and throat) are collected by a health care provider and sent to a private laboratory or one of the state public health laboratories for COVID-19 testing.

To be tested for COVID-19 an order from a healthcare provider is usually required. Your healthcare provider can either collect a sample for testing in their office or provide an order to obtain testing at an alternative testing site. Most testing sites require an order from a healthcare provider, and for an appointment to be scheduled in advance, though there a number of sites that will test regardless of symptoms and without an appointment. The locations of COVID-19 testing is decided and coordinated at the local community level. Visit this website for more information concerning state supported testing sites. For additional testing sites, the best option is to do an online search for “COVID-19 test sites” in your city or county.

The provider/facility that ordered and/or collected the test will provide the results. The COVID19 Call Center cannot provide results, tell you exactly when or how you’ll get your results, or expedite results. For information regarding your test contact the provider/facility that ordered and/or collected the test.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
Learn about COVID-19 Treatment.