If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and your community.
The most common signs of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are having these symptoms, consider calling your doctor or other healthcare providers for medical advice. Your doctor will decide if you need to be tested or seen in person. Keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19. People who are mildly ill may not need to be tested and should isolate (keep away from other people) and care for themselves at home.
Take these steps to monitor your health while you stay home and practice social distancing:
Stay home, except to get medical care, get rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Even if you are only mildly ill with COVID-19, stay home while you are sick.
- Get rest and drink plenty of fluids.
- Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
- Avoid using public transportation such as buses, trains, taxis or ride-shares.
- If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, the entire household should stay home.
Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- As much as possible, stay in a specific room away from others in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
- Avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Restrict contact with pets and other animals while sick. Avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food with your pet. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. 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.
Call ahead before visiting a doctor and monitor your symptoms.
- Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is getting worse (e.g., difficulty breathing).
- If you have a medical appointment or are seeking care, call the doctor’s office and tell them you have, or may have COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the building to help keep other people in the office or waiting room from sick.
- If you need emergency medical care, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or may have COVID-19.
- Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 may include: difficult breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face.
Wear a facemask when around other people or pets.
- If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a doctor’s office.
- If the person who is sick is unable to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing) then other household members should wear a facemask if they enter a room with the person who is sick.
Cover your coughs and sneezes and clean your hands often. Avoid sharing personal items.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a lined trashcan. Wash hands right after.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol may be used. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean all frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Clean and disinfect all surfaces that get touched often, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Disinfect areas with bodily fluids such as blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
- Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.
- For more information on household cleaning and disinfection: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html
Discontinuation home isolation.
If you are sick and have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have been directed to isolate at home, you can stop home isolation under the following conditions:
- You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
- At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.