What do I do if I’m sick?

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

Approved and Authorized Medical Treatments

Monoclonal antibody therapy is available in Florida and can prevent hospitalization or death in high-risk patients with COVID-19. Treatment is free and available to high-risk COVID-19 patients over 12 years old. Click here to find a monoclonal antibody therapy site.

Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are oral antiviral treatments available in Florida. Click here to find an oral antiviral treatment site.

Veklury (Remdesivir) is an FDA-approved therapeutic that is effective as an early treatment against COVID-19. This treatment is approved for patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, or have mild-to-severe COVID-19 and have a high risk of progression to severe COVID-19.

 

Limit the Spread of Germs

If you have COVID-19, stay home except to get medical care. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms that do not require medical treatment. Make sure to get rest, stay hydrated and remain in contact with your health care provider.

If you have COVID-19, stay away from others as much as possible and notify your close contacts. A person may spread the virus before becoming symptomatic or testing positive.

If you have COVID-19, avoid sharing household items that can carry the virus, including cups, utensils, towels and bedding. Clean these items thoroughly after use.

If you have COVID-19, maintain a hygienic environment by practicing public health mitigation measures.

 

Connect with a Medical Professional

If you have COVID-19, monitor your condition and be aware of typical COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough and other symptoms.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested at a verified testing location. Self-isolate while waiting for your test results. Review the Surgeon General’s guidance on the clinical benefit of testing here.

If you have COVID-19, call ahead before visiting your doctor so that they can protect themselves, their staff and other patients.

Find more information about what to do if you are sick here.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. 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.

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.

Many state-run and local testing sites are available throughout Florida.  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.

To find a testing site near you, click here.

Monoclonal antibodies help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the COVID-19 virus.

Monoclonal antibodies are a treatment authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in adult and pediatric patients (12 and older) who have either been diagnosed or exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for progression to severe illness, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19.

In clinical trials, this treatment resulted in a 70% reduction in risk for hospitalization and death, and resulted in an 82% reduction in risk for contracting COVID-19 for people who were exposed to the virus by other members of their household.

Evusheld is a preventative monoclonal antibody therapy. Eligible individuals should contact their health care provider if interested in this pre-exposure therapy.

There is not a time limit to receive other monoclonal antibody treatments, however it must be delivered prior to the occurrence of severe illness. This treatment is available to all eligible people, regardless of vaccination status.

High-risk patients should get treatment as quickly as possible after testing positive for COVID- 19. Examples of medical conditions that may pose a higher risk for severe illness and could potentially benefit from this treatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Older age (65 years of age and older)
  • Individuals overweight
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunosuppressive disease or treatments
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy
  • Having medical-related technological dependence such as tracheostomy or gastrostomy

There is no cost for monoclonal antibody treatment. No one will be denied services due to inability to pay for administrative cost at State of Florida sites. However, insurance can be billed if available.

At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Health and Florida Division of Emergency Management are working together to deploy mobile and stationary monoclonal antibody therapy treatment sites. Click here to find a monoclonal antibody treatment site.

Individuals eligible for Evusheld should contact their health care provider if interested in this pre-exposure therapy.

As of May 2022, several treatment options are available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19:

  • Options for patients not requiring hospitalization or supplemental oxygen include Paxlovid, Molnupiravir, Bebtelovimab, and remdesivir.
  • If eligible, and within five days of symptom onset, Paxlovid should be considered the first treatment option.
  • Bebtelovimab is currently the only monoclonal antibody treatment available for patients who test positive for COVID-19.

Eligible individuals should contact their health care provider to find out if which treatment option is appropriate for them.