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Have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test? How long to isolate, and what to do ASAP

by Ken Goss (2020-07-28)

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Every situation is different, but here are some best practices to follow if you suspect someone you live with is sick with the coronavirus -- or even you.
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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

The number of coronavirus cases and deaths are continuing to rise across the US as a result of close human contact as states and businesses began to reopen. If you've been in any situations where social distancing wasn't possible, or in a high-risk area like a bar or airplane, and you're experiencing symptoms, you may be concerned that you're infected with COVID-19. Or perhaps you live with someone else whose symptoms -- even mild ones -- may match up to COVID-19. Here are the steps to take to avoid spreading the virus to others, as well as how to care for someone who might be sick, especially if you all share the same roof. We'll tell you when to call the doctor to see if you're eligible for COVID-19 testing, how to monitor your symptoms and how long to isolate for others.We've drawn suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as first-hand advice from people we know who have recovered from the coronavirus. Here are recommendations for how to adjust if you suspect someone in your household has COVID-19, but is not sick enough for hospitalization. Note this is not an exhaustive list and guidance from public health agencies is changing over time.

Here's what you need to know about finding a coronavirus testing site near you, and the latest on coronavirus antibody tests and nasal swab testing.

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Contact your doctorAt the first sign of what could be the coronavirus, contact your doctor immediately to list symptoms and ask for advice on whether you should pursue COVID-19 testing. In many cases, the doctor will need to order the test for you (more on this below). If the patient has underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk for fatality, the doctor will also be able to weigh in on which medications they should and shouldn't take and how they'll need to adjust their lifestyle, including what kind of vital signs you should monitor as the illness progresses.

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