How to care for yourself at home if you have a mild to moderate case of covid 19
Many people who test positive for COVID-19 and develop mild to moderate symptoms can safely recover at home. You may wonder what steps to take to care for yourself and avoid exposure to other members of your household.
Following a few simple steps while at home can help you protect yourself and others.
Once you have confirmed you are positive, or if you believe you could be positive but are unable to find a test, you should reach out to your clinician. Staying in touch with your doctor is important in the event that your symptoms worsen. According to the CDC, you should focus on resting and staying hydrated while home. Drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, as needed can help reduce symptoms.
If you test positive, you should isolate yourself at home even if you don’t have symptoms. Following these guidelines while isolating will limit the spread of the virus:
- Stay home for 5 days
- Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test
- Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected
- If you had symptoms, end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours
- If you did NOT have symptoms, end isolation after at least 5 full days after your positive test
- If you were severely ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least 10 days
While home, you should stay away from other people and animals in the home. Here are steps you can take to keep your household safe:
- If you must be around others in the home, wear a mask.
- If possible, you should use a separate bathroom and avoid sharing personal household items such as towels, eating utensils, or drinking glasses.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Hospitals are currently seeing record breaking numbers of hospitalizations and emergency departments visits. Unless your symptoms worsen, it is best to avoid the emergency department and safely recover from COVID-19 from home. Worsening symptoms that would be cause for concern include:
- Stomach symptoms and inability to hold down liquids
- Coughing up something
- Shortness of breath
Visit the CDC website for more information on quarantine and isolation guidelines.
By: Sentara Healthcare