What do I do if I’m sick?

Get tested

Get tested right away if you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are concerned about your status. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can get tested.

Find testing sites for walk-up and drive-thru testing. Testing differs by location. More and more sites offer rapid tests and antibody testing.

 

Stop the spread when you’re sick

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.

The CDC recommends self-quarantining for 14 days if you have recently traveled to a high-risk area, 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 health care provider will help you determine the nearest COVID-19 testing center for you to visit.

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 may be 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. Some testing sites require an order from a healthcare provider, and for an appointment to be scheduled in advance, though there are a number of sites that will test regardless of symptoms and without an appointment.

The locations of COVID-19 testing are decided and coordinated by local communities. State-supported testing sites can be found here.

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.