If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19
[NOTE: This may seem like a long and somewhat tedious list. It is. Remember that the goal is to help you become as healthy as possible as quickly as possible, and to reduce the chances that you’ll pass the virus to others. So tedious, yes – but worthwhile. – HH]
Virginia Department of Health – Monitor your symptoms. You can download VDH’s Daily Symptom Monitoring Log to help keep track of your symptoms.
Seek medical care if your illness worsens. If you have any type of medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or call ahead to your local emergency facility.
Emergency signs of COVID-19 include trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that won’t go away, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.
Protect others. Separate yourself at home in a specific room away from other people and animals. Use a separate bathroom if possible. This is called self-isolation or home isolation.
Avoid sharing 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 well with soap and water or laundered and dried.
Wear a mask when you have to be in the same room with other people or animals in your home and keep as much distance as possible between yourself and others. Put on a mask before going to medical appointments.
Wash your 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.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Wash your hands right after.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together for at least 30 seconds until they feel dry.
Your local health department can assist you with making sure that your basic needs (for example, food and medication) are being met while you are self-isolating.
Avoid using public transportation, such as buses, trains, ride-sharing, or taxis. Avoid all public areas.
Tell anyone you had close contact with that you are sick so that these people know to quarantine (stay home) and stay alert for symptoms.
Call your contacts and tell them you are sick. By sharing your information with others, you can slow the spread of illness.
Inform people in your family and others you had close contact with while contagious (when you could spread the virus to others) that they need to stay home and monitor their health to make sure they do not get sick and infect others.
People with COVID-19 are considered to be contagious both while they are sick and for 2 days before symptoms began. People who tested positive for COVID-19, but never developed symptoms, are considered to be infectious from 2 days before the positive test to 10 days after the positive test.
Learn how to identify and communicate with your close contacts.
Inform your close contacts that the health department may call, and ask them to speak with health department staff if they do call.
Let your close contacts know that they need to stay home and monitor their health even if the health department does not call them.
Visit Exposure to COVID-19 to learn more about how to monitor your health and protect your community if you’ve been exposed to a person with COVID-19.
Answer the call. Your local health department might contact you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate.This is part of contact tracing.
You may also get a text message with more information from VDH. If a health department is seeing a large number of COVID-19 cases, they may not have the resources to do timely contact tracing and case investigation for all reported cases of COVID-19. In this situation, the health department will need to prioritize who to contact for case investigations and contact tracing. Cases will be prioritized based on CDC guidelines.
Anonymously notify others. Use Virginia’s free COVIDWISE Exposure Notification app to report your positive COVID-19 test. This will send an anonymous notification to people you were in close contact with.
Treat symptoms with non-prescription medicines and call ahead before visiting a doctor.
Get rest and drink plenty of water or clear liquids. Avoid alcohol or drinks with caffeine, such as sodas, tea, and coffee.
Use over-the-counter medications based on your symptoms. Follow all usage and warning information on the label.
Seek medical care right away if your illness is getting worse (e.g., difficulty breathing or fever that won’t go down after using fever reducing medication). Call the doctor’s office and tell them you have or may have COVID-19.
Get medical care right away if you have any medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19. Emergency warning signs of COVID-19 can include: trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that won’t go away, new confusion or inability to arouse or wake, or bluish lips or face.
|Fever or headache or body aches||Use a mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil or Motrin)|
|Sore throat||Use a mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), throat sprays like chloraseptic spray, or cough drops|
|Productive cough (wet cough with mucus)||Use an expectorant that contains guaifenesin (e.g., Robitussin or Mucinex)|
|Dry cough (without mucus)||Use a cough suppressant that contains dextromethorphan (e.g., Delsym)|
|Both productive and dry cough||Use a combination guaifenesin/dextromethorphan product (e.g., Mucinex DM or Robitussin DM)|
|Stuffy/runny nose||Use a nasal decongestant that contains phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine (e.g, Sudafed), saline nasal spray, or oral antihistamines (e.g., Claritin or Zyrtec)|
*Always follow the advice from your healthcare provider and the instructions from the manufacturer about the medicine you take.
Manage your stress and anxiety.
Being ill can be stressful. Remember that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.
Being ill with COVID-19 might be especially hard because it is a new disease and there is a lot of news coverage. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
Stay in touch with others with calls (audio or video), instant messaging, or email while you are sick. You may want to ask for help and support from friends, family, or neighbors.
People with pre-existing mental conditions should continue their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety or feel like you want to harm yourself or others,
Call VA C.O.P.E.S., the Virginia COVID “warm” line, which has been set up to help people who are having trouble dealing with the changes in our lives due to COVID-19. Callers can receive emotional support and referrals for mental and behavioral health and other services. Unlike 9-1-1, which is used only for emergencies, a warm line offers support and gives people the chance to talk about their struggles and mental health. Spanish speaking counselors are available. (877) 349-6428 Toll Free, 9:00 A.M. – 9:00 P.M. Monday – Friday, 5:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday.
Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline or call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
Learn when you can stop self-isolation.
Most people with COVID-19 can be ‘released’ from isolation and can be around others after:
At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and
At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and
Other symptoms are improving. (Note: the loss of taste or smell might last for weeks or months after recovery. This should not delay the end of isolation)
If you tested positive for COVID-19 but never had any symptoms, you can be around others after 10 days have passed since the first positive diagnostic test.
For most people, getting another COVID-19 test to determine when to end isolation is not recommended. Check with your healthcare provider, if you have severe to critical COVID-19 and/or a weakened immune system because of a health condition or medication.
See the VDH When to End Home Isolation and Quarantine Infographic for more information.
Click source below to learn more.
Swab story: A game-changing COVID-19 test swab
Faced with potential shortages, a straightforward assignment — find more swabs — became a massive effort that involved numerous departments and experts, and culminated in Mayo Clinic designing, testing and manufacturing a new medical device.
MAYO CLINIC NEWS NETWORK – Swabs typically don’t attract much attention. Small, simple, inexpensive, used quickly and discarded, they hardly seem to merit the title of “medical device.” But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the lowly swab has gained enormous importance. Without it, testing grinds to a halt and detecting the virus becomes extremely difficult.
So when demand for swabs exploded last spring and supplies became scarce, Paul Jannetto, Ph.D., a laboratory director in Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology who serves as vice chair of the department’s Supply Chain Management Committee, faced a serious problem.
There are two main manufacturers of flocked nasopharyngeal swabs — the standard swab for molecular SARS-CoV-2 testing. While the manufacturers worked to ramp up production to meet demand, Dr. Jannetto and his colleagues in Supply Chain Management were tasked with the job of looking for alternative vendors and swab types.
What sounded like a straightforward assignment — find more swabs — became a massive effort that involved numerous departments and experts, and culminated in Mayo Clinic for the first time designing, testing and mass-manufacturing a new medical device listed with the Food and Drug Administration: the 3D-printed mid-turbinate swab.
That achievement reinforced a critical link in the supply chain, allowing Mayo Clinic to press forward with confidence as it develops an at-home COVID-19 test and easing the burden on health care teams that administer in-person tests.
Uncovering an appealing alternative
One of the first people to weigh in on the swab dilemma was Bobbi Pritt, M.D., chair of Mayo’s Division of Clinical Microbiology. She knew from previous research that nasal mid-turbinate swabs could be as effective as nasopharyngeal swabs in detecting viral infections of the upper respiratory tract.
Dr. Pritt saw benefits to pursuing the use of mid-turbinate swabs. First, they are more comfortable for patients because they don’t need to reach as far back into the nasal passage as nasopharyngeal swabs to obtain a sample. Source.
Read the rest of the article on Mayo Clinic Laboratories Insights.