Getting a positive test result for COVID-19 can not only be stressful and anxiety-inducing, but can also leave you wondering, “What do I do now?”
First things first: talk with your healthcare provider. They can help you understand what your test results may mean for you by considering your medical history, symptoms, and other factors.
We’ve also put together the following resource that covers self-care tips, seeking emergency medical attention, the CDC’s guidance on ending isolation, retesting, and more—so keep reading to learn this key information.
Here are some self-care tips that may help during this stressful time:
Stay in close contact with your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen, and be sure to ask your healthcare provider about your risk factors for developing serious complications due to COVID-19.
While information regarding COVID-19 is continually evolving, current evidence suggests that older people and people who have chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease are among those who are at higher risk for complications.
It’s important to seek emergency medical attention if you (or someone you know) is experiencing warning signs, including:
Based on current literature, symptoms can develop anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is believed that those with mild to moderate symptoms may be contagious for up to 10 days following symptom onset, whereas some others may be contagious for up to 20 days after symptoms begin.
Before you end home isolation, the CDC recommends that you wait until a minimum of 10 days have passed since you first started experiencing symptoms, you haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours (and haven’t taken fever-reducing medication), and your symptoms have improved.
If you tested positive but haven’t experienced any symptoms, the CDC recommends waiting until 10 days have passed since you got tested.
Other guidelines from the CDC exist to advise healthcare personnel with a SARS-CoV-2 infection and people who are immunocompromised.
Ask your healthcare provider if—and when—they advise you to retest after your initial positive result. According to the CDC’s guidelines:
Ensuring your test results are negative may let you return to work (depending on your employer) or your normal daily routine with peace of mind that you are not exposing others to the virus.
Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and looking for relief? Get COVID-19 treatment online via Everlywell's Virtual Care offering.
You can reduce your chances of being infected with or spreading COVID-19 by following these rules of thumb.
Here are some resources from our blog that you may find helpful:
30-Day Self-Care Challenge + Printables
COVID-19 and nutrition: care for yourself and others with these tips
Coronavirus safety: top tips for prevention, treatment, and easing symptoms during a quarantine