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You Have Tested Positive

You tested positive: Now what?

You have tested positive for COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus.  It is considered extremely contagious and it is important that you follow recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stop the spread. 


Path to improved health 

The most important thing right now is to understand how to isolate yourself and DON’T panic.  

Most people who do show symptoms of COVID-19 are only mildly ill.  COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Fever or chills

  • Fatigue

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Headache

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea


How to isolate 

Stay home except to get medical care. If you live with other people, stay away from them as much as possible. Stay in a separate, specific room. If possible, use a separate bathroom from the rest of your household. If you need to be in any common areas, wear a mask over your mouth and nose.  


If you tested positive and have NO symptoms: the CDC says to stay home for 10 days after the date of your positive test.


If you need to end your isolation earlier than 10 days, your doctor may recommend repeat testing. This is only if testing is available in your community. If you can get another test, you should have two negative tests in a row to end isolation. The tests should be more than 24 hours apart.


If you tested positive and HAVE SYMPTOMS: you can be around others when ALL 3 of the following criteria are met: 1) 10 days have passed since you first experienced symptoms, 2) you have gone 24 hours with no fever WITHOUT the use of fever reducing medications, and 3) your COVID symptoms are improving.


The CDC says that a repeat test is not typically indicated to be around others.  As long as you follow the above guidelines, you may end isolation without risking getting others sick. 



Home Care

There are some things you can do at home to help yourself:

  • Sleep on your stomach if you can, if you cannot, sleep on your side

  • Try to get up and move around, take a walk around outside or at least get up and move every 30-60 minutes. This is important to keep fluid from building up in your lungs.  A good trick is to get up on every commercial break and stretch, deep breath, and walk around. 

  • Take long deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth to keep your lungs expanded. 

  • HYDRATE- be sure you are drinking plenty of water each day.  Try to keep your liquids at room temperature or drink warm liquids like tea, water with honey and lemon, apple cider. 

  • AVOID milk products as it can promote mucous production. 

  • The following is a list of supplements that have been shown to help with COVID symptoms- these are not FDA approved or reviewed since they are considered dietary supplements. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any supplements. 

    • Vitamin D3- 5,000 IU per day

    • Vitamin C 1000mg daily

    • Zinc 50mg per day

    • Probiotics

    • Pepcid (famotidine) 20mg two times per day can help with cramps

    • Melatonin 5mg nightly

    • IF YOU ARE ABLE: aspirin 325mg once daily- check with your doctor before starting this

    • NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) 600mg daily

  • Purchase a pulse oxygen reader from your local drug store or amazon- check your oxygen saturation daily or if you feel short of breath.  If your oxygen saturation stays below 90% for more than 1 minute, seek emergency assistance via your local ER. Your saturation may drop slightly with activity, but should quickly return to greater than 92%.  If you have chronic respiratory issues, speak to your healthcare provider about what your oxygen saturation should be.  


When to call your healthcare provider

If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider.  If you have difficulty breathing or other emergency symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. 

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