What to do if you test positive for the COVID-19 virus

If you receive a positive test result after your COVID-19 test, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about how to appropriately care for yourself and others while you’re recovering.

While each individual case may require specific guidelines or precautions as ordered by your physician, there are a few general steps everyone can take to help speed up the recovery process and protect others from COVID-19.

Isolate at home

According to Harvard Medical School, emerging research suggests that people can be contagious for at least 10 days after symptoms start. Limit your contact with others to avoid spreading the virus, and avoid crowded public areas. Reduce close contact with others in your home and limit movement to a specific room, and use a separate bathroom if possible.

If you do need to go outside, wear a face mask and stay 6 feet away from others. Be sure to ask your physician or care provider when it’s safe to end the isolation period.

Keep surfaces and spaces clean

Coronaviruses that cause COVID-19 can live on surfaces and objects from hours to days, depending on the conditions in the surrounding environment. Keeping shared surfaces clean can reduce the risk of others in your household contracting the virus.

Most surfaces only need to be cleaned with soap and water, while other frequently touched surfaces like light switches, bathroom fixtures, and doorknobs will need to be cleaned and disinfected daily with an EPA-approved disinfectant.

Monitor your symptoms

You may develop symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fever, and headache,which can typically be treated at home with over-the-counter medications. While you’re monitoring your symptoms, be sure to rest and drink plenty of fluids.

According to the CDC, your COVID-19 symptoms will most likely be at their peak 5 to 12 days from the onset of illness. Take care to notice if your symptoms worsen, as you may need to contact your care provider and seek further medical attention.

Call before you go to the doctor

Most mild and moderate symptoms can be monitored at home without extra medical care. If you need to visit the doctor,, call ahead before your visit . This helps them take appropriate steps to protect themselves and other patients.

If you’re having trouble breathing, experiencing persistent chest pain or pressure, are unable to stay awake, or if you have blue lips or face, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately.

With appropriate precautions and care, you can aid your recovery process and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.

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