Self-Care With COVID-19

Could I have COVID-19?

Common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms or have worsening symptoms, contact your healthcare provider by phone or MyChart to schedule a test.

Do I have to be tested for mild symptoms of COVID-19?

If you can breathe comfortably and have someone to help you access food and hydration, you can treat COVID-19 at home the same way you would treat any other respiratory infection with plenty of rest, hydration and nutrition. If you have a fever, headache or body aches that are making you miserable, try Tylenol first or take a decongestant if you are stuffed up. If your symptoms worse, contact your healthcare provider by phone or MyChart.

If I have symptoms and am considered high-risk, what should I do?

Everyone in a high-risk group who is experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately. This includes the elderly, people with underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma, pregnant women and people whose immune systems are compromised because of cancer treatment, organ transplant or other conditions. Alert your provider by either calling your clinic or sending a MyChart message. You can also do a video visit. Do not go to the clinic, urgent care or emergency department without calling first.

Can I be tested to be sure I don’t have COVID-19?

If you are experiencing common symptoms or have worsening symptoms, contact your health care provider by phone or MyChart to schedule a test.

UW Health is currently unable to test asymptomatic patients, but the following COVID-19 testing options are available:

I am scheduled for surgery. Do I need to be tested for COVID-19?

All inpatients at UW Health facilities will require a COVID-19 test upon admission. Further testing of asymptomatic inpatients for COVID-19 is only required if new symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19, it is important that you isolate to avoid spreading the virus to others.

How do I self-isolate?

  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Do not go to work, school or public areas
  • Postpone non-essential medical appointments
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members
  • Use a separate bathroom if possible
  • Avoid contact with family members and pets
  • Do not share household items such as cups, towels or utensils
  • Wear a mask if others are around
  • Cover your cough with your elbow and sneeze into a tissue
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water

When can I stop isolating?

  • When your symptoms have improved (only cough 2-3 times per hour, no shortness of breath, minimal congestion) and
  • 10 days has passed from the day the you first experienced symptoms or
  • 20 days have passed from the day you first experienced symptoms if you are severely ill or severely immunocompromised (current cancer diagnosis, blood, bone marrow or organ transplant, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other immune-weakening medicines).

What should I do if I’m really stressed out?

Many people are feeling significant isolation, anxiety and depression.  Depression can create other issues that make it difficult for people to function and take care of themselves. Isolation can be very hard on caregivers, too. If you are feeling you need help, reach out to your primary care physician or behavioral health specialist via phone, MyChart or Care Anywhere for a video visit. More mental health resources are also available from the UW Health Department of Psychiatry.