The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus. COVID-19 symptoms are a lot like symptoms of the flu (influenza) or other respiratory illnesses. It can cause:
If you have any of these symptoms, you
must self-isolate for at least 10 days after your symptoms started or until your symptoms are gone, whichever is longer.
Other symptoms can include:
If you have any of the other symptoms, stay home and limit your contact with others until your symptoms go away.
Most people (about 80%) have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. But people who are very sick may need care in a hospital. In severe cases, COVID-19 can cause pneumonia, make it hard to breathe without help, and can even lead to death.
This virus spreads person-to-person through droplets from coughing and sneezing. It may also spread by touching something that has the virus on it, such as a doorknob or a tabletop, and then touching your face.
The virus is diagnosed with a test that uses a swab of fluid from your nose or throat or sometimes uses sputum (phlegm) from the lungs. Other tests may be done, such as blood tests and CT scans of the lungs. But even if you don't have a test, you may be told you probably have the virus based on your symptoms and history.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, take the
There is no medicine to fight the virus. If you have mild symptoms, you can
care for yourself at home. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for a fever or pain, if it’s safe for you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure. Treatment in the hospital for more serious cases includes support, such as oxygen and help with breathing.
If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19, you
must self-isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started and until your symptoms are gone (whichever is longer). This means you need to stay home and away from other people. To learn more visit
COVID-19 Self-Assessment to know if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
Health Link at
811 as soon as you have symptoms. Call ahead from home before going to a healthcare facility, such as a doctor’s office or walk-in clinic.
911 if you are seriously ill and need medical help right away. Tell them that you may have COVID-19.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and keep all your healthcare appointments, and call your doctor or Health Link at 811 if you’re having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
You can find the latest information about COVID-19 from these sources:
911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. Tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.
For example, call if:
Call your doctor or Health Link at 811 now or seek immediate medical care if:
Whether you have symptoms or not, call your doctor's office
before you go. If you have symptoms, make sure you wear a face mask when you go to the doctor to help stop the virus from spreading.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
COVID-19 - Care Instructions
Current as of: June 1, 2020
Author: Adapted from Healthwise
This material is for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction, or treatment. If you have questions, talk with your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider. This information may be printed and distributed without permission for non-profit, education purposes. The content on this page may not be changed without consent of the author. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.