If you are concerned you might have COVID-19–either because you have been exposed to someone who has it or because you have symptoms–there are some important next steps.
As soon as you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, begin to behave as if you do have it. That means staying away from other people and beginning the isolation steps in the I Have COVID-19 section until you get a negative test.
IMPORTANT: Call ahead to your doctor or emergency care facility. Do not just walk in or you risk other lives.
Waiting rooms are often full of older patients with heart disease, cancer, and other conditions for whom COVID-19 could be fatal.
Confirm over the phone with your doctor/health provider that your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. Some other conditions have similar symptoms. Allergies, the common cold, and flu all have symptoms in common with COVID-19. That’s part of why it’s so important to get your flu vaccine if you can!
Common Symptoms of COVID-19
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste/smell
If your symptoms are not severe, your health provider will probably give you instructions over the phone on how to self treat and monitor your symptoms at home. They will also tell you whether, where, and how to get a COVID-19 test.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain/pressure in chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Blueish lips or face
Call your doctor or emergency room before going in and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
When you go to the clinic or hospital, put on a face mask before you enter the building.
Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people in the waiting room.