I think I have COVID-19, what should I do?

Published: Thursday, December 30, 2021
Medical Director of Infectious Disease Medicine

If you think you may have contracted COVID-19, it is important to take care of yourself and the people around you. Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear within 2 -14 days after contact with a person who has COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough or 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.

Asymptomatic to light COVID-19 symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 can recover at home without medical care. Take care of yourself, stay home and monitor your symptoms. It’s important to get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines to help you feel better. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider to continue monitoring symptoms and get tested if recommended by your doctor.

The CDC has shortened the recommended time for isolation for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.

Mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms

It’s important to monitor your symptoms. If your symptoms start to get mild to moderate, you will need to call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment or visit an Urgent Care clinic. Ask to see if antibody treatment is right for you.

Monitor your oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter. If you have COVID-19, you can have low oxygen levels but otherwise appear well. Contact your doctor if your oxygen level falls below 94%.

If you have trouble breathing, worsening chest pain, bluish discoloration of the lip, and/or worsening gastrointestinal symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

Continue to follow COVID-19 Quarantine & Isolation recommendations

Severe COVID-19 symptoms

If you or someone you know has severe symptoms to COVID-19, it is important to seek emergency care immediately. Severe symptoms to COVID-19 may include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Signs of confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

For more COVID-19 information, visit www.nghs.com/COVID-19