I Tested Positive For Covid
Last Updated May 2021 | This article was created by familydoctor.org editorial staff and reviewed by Robert “Chuck” Rich, Jr., MD, FAAFP
COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is extremely contagious. If you test positive for COVID-19or suspect that you have itit is important that you follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop the spread.
Are There People Who Might Get Very Sick From Covid
COVID-19 is more dangerous for some people. Stay away from them to keep them safe. These people may live with you. If you cannot safely isolate or quarantine in your home, consider finding another space where you will not be in contact with anyone. You may be able to get a referral to an Isolation and Recovery Site.
COVID can be more dangerous for people who:
- Are more than 65 years old
- Have chronic conditions such as: diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, liver disease, or cardiovascular disease
- Are immunocompromised
- Have extreme obesity
- Are pregnant
Does Someone In Your Household Have Coronavirus
If someone who lives at the same address as you tests positive for coronavirus, you are a close contact. If you are not optimally protected, you must self-quarantine and get tested. For more information, visit the page on . If you are optimally protected, you can do a self-test if you want to make sure you do not transmit the virus to anyone else. You do not need to self-quarantine. If you develop symptoms, stay at home get tested by the GGD as soon as possible.
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How To Speed Healing
For exercise and vitamin D from sunshine, Barman urged COVID-19 patients to get outside once a day for as little as 15 minutes — but only if the air quality is good and they can do it without going into public spaces. It is also important to stay well-hydrated dehydration can occur quickly when one is sick, causing increased fatigue and headaches.
Also, it’s important to keep taking your regular medications, Barman said. “The best thing that you can do if you have COVID-19 and asthma is to keep taking your asthma medication. The same goes for diabetes or any other condition,” she said. “If you have concerns or questions about whether you should stop your medications, be sure to check with your physician.”
Getting Tested Following Contact With Someone With Coronavirus
If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you must also get tested, even if you have no symptoms yourself. Whether or not you need to self-quarantine depends on the situation.
Please note: optimally protected means you are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 in the last 6 months.
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How Long To Stay Home
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home until all three of these things are true:
- You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.and
- It has been 10 days since you first felt sick.and
- You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.
Notify Your Close Contacts
Its important for people in close contact with you to know that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Especially with the more contagious Delta variant, the sooner people know they may have come into contact with the virus, the sooner they can take steps to protect themselves and to prevent further spread in the community.
The infectious period is when you can spread the virus to others. It starts the two days before you noticed any symptoms, and it continues until your isolation period ends. If you dont have symptoms, your infectious period starts the two days before the day you got tested and continues for 10 days .
Write down the names of anyone who was in close contact with you during your infectious period. For COVID-19, close contact means within 6 feet, for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. People are considered close contacts even if you, or they, were wearing a mask.
Look at your planner, calendar, social media or photos to remember what you did and where you have been. Here are some things to think about:
- Who lives with you?
- Did you go to work or school?
- Did you get together with people ?
- Did you go to a congregate living setting ?
- Did you go to in-person appointments ?
- Did you get in a car with others or take public transportation?
- Did you go inside a church, synagogue, mosque or other places of worship?
- Did you attend a large event ?
Prioritize reaching out to people in higher-risk groups first. This includes:
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S To Help Prevent The Spread Of Covid
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
- Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
- Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask.
Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical careimmediately:
Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Take Care Of Yourself With At
Mild cases of COVID-19 can be treated at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter cold and fever-reducing medications, says Huang.
It’s important to eat nutritious foods, too, even if you don’t have an appetite. Blending fruits and veggies into smoothies can help you get the calories you need if you don’t feel like eating. Add protein powder for more calories and satiety.
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Book With Airlines And Hotels That Have Flexible Policies
Yet even relying on insurance can be frustrating. Youll typically still need to pay upfront costs and submit receipts for reimbursement. Peterkin said it took about a dozen phone calls and many months before his insurer sent his $1,000 check.
To avoid requiring reimbursement for a missed flight or a canceled hotel room on the next leg of your trip, book with travel providers with flexible change and cancellation policies. While airline and hotel cancellation policies have improved, not all are that generous. For example, many basic economy fares are unchangeable, so what seems like cheap airfare could end up being a sunk cost.
How To Monitor Your Oxygen Level At Home
COVID-19 can negatively impact how well oxygen is transferred into the bloodstream, but a patient doesn’t always feel short of breath when their oxygen levels are low. Patients at home can monitor the percentage of oxygen in their blood using a pulse oximeter, a relatively inexpensive device that comfortably clamps onto a finger. Products that are FDA-approved for home medical use are best, Barman said.
A reading of 96% or higher is considered healthy, she said. A patient who has a reading of 95% or lower should contact a clinician because that might signal that their lungs are not functioning well.
It can take 30 to 60 seconds to come to a steady reading, Barman said. Also, the monitors may pick up a signal better on one finger than another. If a reading is less than 96%, patients should take a reading on another finger. The highest pulse oximeter number is the correct one — it could read artificially low, but not artificially high. Many pulse oximeters also record a heart rate or pulse. The instructions should indicate which is which.
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What Are The Main Covid Symptoms
According to the NHS, the three main symptoms of Covid-19 are:
- A high temperature this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste this means youve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
I Was Exposed To Someone With Covid
First, know that you generally need to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19 to get infected.Close contact includes:
- Living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, OR
- Being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 15 minutes , OR
- Someone with COVID-19 coughing on you, kissing you, sharing utensils with you or you had direct contact with their body secretions.
You can develop COVID-19 anytime during the 14 days after your last close contact with someone who has COVID-19. In order to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others, you must quarantine, which means you must stay home from work, school, and other activities.When quarantining, you should always:
- Monitor your symptoms for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19
- Stay home from school, work, and other activities and get tested as soon as possible if you develop symptoms. If positive, follow isolation guidance for people who test positive if negative, continue quarantining.
It is safestif you quarantine for 14 days after your last exposure. No test is required to end quarantine.You do have other options for quarantine. These options are to:
I had close contact with someone with COVID-19 but am not sick
I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and am sick
I had close contact with someone and have been vaccinated
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Breakthrough Cases For Vaccinated People Are Rare But Do Happen
When a vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19, most either have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms, and it rarely results in hospitalization or death. Their symptoms are more like those of a common cold, such as cough, fever or headache, with the addition of significant loss of smell.
No vaccine is 100% effective. With the COVID-19 vaccines averaging about 90% efficacy, health experts expect about 10% of those vaccinated could be infected. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 0.005% of the vaccinated population has reported breakthrough cases of COVID-19.
What’s The Difference Between The Pcr And Antigen Tests For Covid
There are two types of tests for COVID-19: the PCR test and the antigen test.
- Polymerase chain reaction . This tests for the presence of the actual viruss genetic material or its fragments as it breaks down. PCR is the most reliable and accurate test for detecting active infection. PCR tests typically take hours to perform, but some are faster.
- Antigen test: This detects bits of proteins on the surface of the virus called antigens. Antigen tests typically take only 15 to 30 minutes. Rapid antigen tests are most accurate when used within a few days of the start of your symptoms, which is when the largest amount of virus is present in your body.
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How To Take Care Of Yourself If You Have Covid
Contact your regular primary care provider immediately. Let them know that you have been diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19 and are at home to rest and recover. They may have further instructions or be able to answer additional questions you may have as they guide your recovery.
Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, like water or herbal tea, things that dont contain caffeine or alcohol. Choose foods like soups with lots of liquid. Over-the-counter medications can help to manage your symptoms follow your health care providers instructions, or ask them for advice about medications you may take for your symptoms.
Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider immediately. If you develop emergency warning signs, get medical attention immediately the same as you would for any emergency condition.For medical emergencies, call 911. Notify the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19.
What To Do After Testing Positive For Covid
Heres what you should do after testing positive for COVID-19:
Step #1: Stay Home Unless Youre Getting Medical Care
Most people who only show mild symptoms of the virus can recover at home without medical care. Isolating at home will help protect others from getting the infection.
Some things to remember:
- Dont visit any public areas or use public transportation
- Only leave your house to visit a doctor or hospital
- Make sure you have all of your medicines stocked and easy to access
- Get plenty of rest
- Stay in touch with your doctor
Step #2: Isolate Away from Others
If you can, stay in a specific room, and away from pets or other people in your home. If you cant avoid someone, wear a mask!
Step #3: Contact Others Who You May Have Exposed
Let anyone who mightve come into contact with you know you have tested positive for COVID-19. An infected individual can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours before they experience any symptoms or test positive. If you had close contact with them, they should get tested themselves.
Step #4: Compile a Mini First-Aid Kit
Some important things to have on hand include:
Step #5: Monitor Your Symptoms
Follow the care instructions from your doctor, and seek emergency help if your symptoms start to get worse or if you experience the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
Step #6: Exercise Proper Hygiene
High touch surfaces include:
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How To Prepare For The Possibility Of Getting Covid Abroad
I know the vaccine is not necessarily there to rid you of the illness, but rather to keep your symptoms mild, Guggenheim says. Still, I was shocked that I tested positive and my family tested negative.
Guggenheim said she was aware of possibly getting sick. But you never think its going to happen to you until it does, she says.
In anticipation that you might test positive, heres how to prepare:
If You Have Been Exposed To Someone With Covid
Be tested 3-5 days after exposure, whether you are fully vaccinated or not, and follow the quarantine procedures below.
You may need to stay at home if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you live with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Close contact is being within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more in one day.
If you are fully vaccinated with no symptoms since your exposure, and it has been at least two weeks after your last vaccination dose:
- You do not need to stay at home.
- You should wear a mask in public for the next 14 days.
- 3 to 5 days after your exposure, you should be tested for COVID-19 to make sure you are not infected.
If you have already had COVID-19
You do not need to stay at home if:
- You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days,
- and it has been at least 10 days since your test ,
- and you no longer have symptoms.
Otherwise you should quarantine at home.
End your quarantine and return to work when:
MSDH strongly encourages a full 14-day quarantine, especially for household contacts of an infected person or those in congregate living settings.
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Path To Improved Health
If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to isolate yourself from other people. Stay away from others. You still need to isolate even if you are asymptomatic, which means that you arent showing any symptoms of illness.
Most people who do show symptoms of COVID-19 are only mildly ill. COVID-19 symptoms may include:
- Fever or chills
- New loss of taste or smell
If you begin to develop more severe symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
People Who Were Not In Close Contact With You
If you test positive for COVID-19, anyone who was not in close contact with you does not need to restrict their movements. For example, people who live with your close contacts, or friends of your close contacts.
They will not get a call from contact tracing.
If they develop symptoms, they should:
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