What to Do if You Think You Have Coronavirus

Jalesa Campbell
Updated Jan 28, 2021
1 min read

COVID-19 is seeing new developments day after day. With the amount of information and updates we’re receiving, it’s important to stay aware but also make the best choices for yourself, your loved ones, and those you’re around everyday.

If you believe you’ve been in contact with someone who has the Coronavirus or that you’ve contracted the virus, here some things you need to know.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are symptoms of Coronavirus:
  • A fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
The CDC also lists emergency symptoms to look for:
  • “Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath”
  • “Persistent pain or pressure in the chest”
  • “New confusion or inability to arouse”
  • “Bluish lips or face”

What should I do if I think I have Coronavirus?

Step 1. Do you exhibit these symptoms?

If you suspect that you may have COVID-19, start thinking about your recent activities. Have you traveled abroad? Have you been in contact with someone who has traveled abroad? Do you exhibit any of the above symptoms?

Step 2. Contact your primary care physician or a doctor.

If you are exhibiting these symptoms, please contact your primary care physician or a doctor before visiting.

This gives them time to prepare their offices or emergency rooms for your arrival and also protect other patients and staff members.

Some primary care physicians also offer virtual visits, which are highly encouraged if possible at this time for the safety of others. Please check with your health insurance provider to see if this option is available to you.

Step 3. Getting tested.

If the physician determines that testing is necessary, you may be tested at a designated facility. Drive-through Coronavirus testing is also another option. The Associated Press reports that more than 30 states have made this service available.

Step 4. Isolate yourself if you test positive.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you should place yourself on quarantine at home. For some, Coronavirus can have mild or severe effects. This virus has also led to deaths worldwide. Be sure to follow your physician’s requirements for self-quarantine, as this will lessen the risk for others contracting the virus as well.

Some important things to remember during this time

Practice social distancing: We understand that social distancing can be hard, especially with those we love. But, in order to help decrease the risk of spread, it’s important to limit your visits, especially if you are sick. Remember that the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are especially at risk.

If you are a caregiver and have to visit someone who is not sick, please remember to wear a face mask, sanitize appropriate areas on a daily basis (especially high traffic areas), and practice good personal hygiene to help keep them healthy. According to USA Today, President Trump has recommended “[avoiding] social gatherings of more than 10 people and to limit discretionary travel.”

Don’t travel unless you need to: Staying indoors can also be difficult, but it’s important to limit your traveling unless you need to. Some states are setting up hours for populations like the elderly to come out to stores. We are also learning of restaurant and bar closings in certain states to limit unnecessary contact.

Finally, take care of yourself physically and mentally: The Coronavirus’ impact is worthy of concern, but it’s also essential to take time to care for your physical and mental health. If you are home, unplug from your electronics periodically if possible, and be sure to care for your family’s needs. If you have the time, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. It’s easy to go into a state of panic, but your mental health is just as important. While we have limited control of this virus, we do have control of ourselves and our choices.

COVID-19 Resource Center

Get the latest information about the Coronavirus and what you can do to stay safe.

Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.

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