In order to confirm if you are exposed to Coronavirus, there are a series of tests you must go through. Your choice of health care provider will do a clinical specimen testing if you show any positive symptoms of Coronavirus.
Subsequently, the specimen will be tested in the laboratory to identify genetic material from the Coronavirus, otherwise referred to as ‘SARS-CoV-2’. You will then need to wait to see if your test result comes back positive or negative.
If your test result comes back positive, it means the Coronavirus is detected in your specimen. You should not panic, but stay alert. If you have tested positive for Covid-19, it is critical that you heed the advice of your doctor or health care provider.
In this article, Smarter Health will walk you through what you have to do if you test positive for Covid-19 infection.
Home Care for Coronavirus Patients
People who test positive for Coronavirus might experience symptoms such as fever, cough, and mild dyspnea (shortness of breath). You will usually get better within a week after the first symptom occurs.
It is advised that you rest at home and drink enough water to ensure that your urine is colorless. There are no specific antiviral medications recommended to treat COVID-19. You can take over-the-counter medicines if you have fever or pain. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the packaging. In addition, you also have to take the medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
The Differences Between Isolation and Quarantine
According to the Washington State Department of Health, there are differences between isolation and quarantine:
- Isolation is necessary if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you test positive for Coronavirus. Isolating yourself means that you remain at home and do not have contact with other people including family members for a certain period of time as recommended by your healthcare provider. This is done to prevent yourself from spreading the disease.
- Quarantine is what you should do when you are exposed to COVID-19. By being quarantined, you will need to stay at home and away from other people for a certain period of time as recommended by your healthcare provider. Quarantine is recommended if you are at risk of spreading a contagious disease. Quarantine can serve as isolation if you test positive for Coronavirus or experience symptoms.
Emergency Warning Signs of Coronavirus
Make sure you continue to monitor your symptoms. If the symptoms worsen, seek immediate care from a healthcare provider. Emergency warning signs of COVID-19 include:
- Trouble breathing
- Bluish lips or face
- Inability to stay awake
- Persistent chest pain or pressure in the chest.
- Confusion or inability to think clearly
If you have one or more of the above emergency symptoms, you must immediately contact the nearest hospital.
Avoid using public transportation. We recommend that you drive your own vehicle or call an ambulance. You must wear a face mask on the way to the hospital.
When Can You Be Around Others After You Have Had Coronavirus?
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has a detailed explanation of when you can return to participating in activities around other people if you are suspected or confirmed positive for Coronavirus. Here are some case examples:
Case #1: I think or know I have COVID-19, and had symptoms
You are allowed to be around others after:
- It’s been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared; and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
As a side note, loss of taste and smell may last for weeks or even months after recovery.
Your healthcare provider may recommend that you undergo testing to end your isolation earlier that what would be done according to the criteria above. If your test results return negative, you can be around others.
However, this does not apply to sufferers of severe COVID-19 or sufferers with severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).
Case #2: I have serious COVID-19 symptoms and a severely weakened immune system
People who have been severely infected with COVID-19 virus will need to undergo self-isolation at home or in the hospital for between 10 to 20 days after the symptoms first appeared – the same thing applies if you are immunocompromised. You may require special testing to determine when you can be around others.
It is best to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider for more information. Your doctor may work with an infectious disease specialist to determine if testing is necessary before you can be around others.
Case #3: I have had close contact with someone with COVID-19
Anyone who has had close contact with someone who tested positive for Coronavirus must undergo self-isolation at home for 14 days after the last contact with the said someone. However, you do not need to stay at home if you meet the following criteria:
- Have already recovered from the Coronavirus.
- Have been infected with the Coronavirus within the past 3 months.
- Remains without symptoms of Coronavirus – such as coughing and shortness of breath
Case #4: I am a healthcare professional
If you are a healthcare professional who suspects or knows that you may be exposed to Coronavirus, you must follow the same recommendations listed above so that you can immediately return to being around other people outside your workplace.
Ways to Prevent The Spread of COVID-19
After being tested positive for Covid-19, you will have to be cautious to not spread of the virus. Here’s what you can do to prevent the Coronavirus:
- Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze, then throw the used tissues in the trash and wash your hands.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol on your hands
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and clean water, for at least 20 seconds
- Do not share personal items with anyone. These items include plates, cups, cutlery, towels, or bedding.
- Clean surfaces that are frequently touched every day. For example, door handles, tables, cellphones, bathroom fixtures, or toilets.
- Wear a mask when you are around people or pets, and before you go into a hospital
Contact your doctor or healthcare provider to find out when you can resume being around others. During your isolation at home, make sure you take medicines as prescribed by your doctor and try to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission to other family members.
Continue to monitor your symptoms and do a teleconsultation with doctors from local and international hospitals through Smarter Health. Teleconsultation is the safest option for you during the COVID-19 pandemic.