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What To Do If You Get COVID-19

Getting Medical Care

Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your doctor for advice or schedule a WellSpan Online Urgent Care appointment.  (use coupon code COVID19 for a free visit)

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

According to the CDC, other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Call your healthcare provider before leaving home and follow their instructions. Limit walk-in visits if you suspect you have COVID-19.

Tell your doctor's office or emergency room that you have or may have COVID-19 before entering the building. This will help the office protect medical staff and other patients. You may be asked to wear a mask to protect healthcare workers and other patients.

Many people with COVID-19 will be able to self-care at home if symptoms are not severe.

Get care immediately if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency. Dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency. Seek emergency medical care immediately for any of these warning signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

Many patients with mild symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Please call your physician’s office or consider an online urgent care visit to discuss your symptoms.

How is WellSpan caring for patients who may need evaluation and treatment for COVID-19?

WellSpan Medical Group practices provide evaluation and care for patients who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath, please call your primary care provider who will determine the need for testing or care.

If you do not have a primary care provider please use WellSpan’s online screening tool  at www.WellSpan.org/Coronavirus to determine if you may be at risk for COVID-19. Also, patients are encouraged to use WellSpan Online Urgent Care to be seen quickly and safely, without the need to travel to a care location. Patients should visit www.WellSpan.org/OUC to get started. 

Finally, a Coronavirus Information Hotline has been established for patients that may have questions. Call toll-free at (855) 851-3641. The line is open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. 


Self-Isolation

Stay home except to get medical care: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 may be able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.

Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after you interact with them.


Limiting Spread of COVID-19

Cover mouth and nose: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.

Wash hands: Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a face covering: Wear a cloth face covering or mask if you must come in contact with other people or animals. If you cannot tolerate a face covering, for example due to trouble breathing, cover your coughs and sneezes another way.

Do not share: Do not share dishes, cups/glasses, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher/washing machine.

Clean and disinfect: Routinely clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom.

High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.


When to Stop Self-Isolation

Follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and Pa. Department of Health. The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your doctor and Pa. Department of Health recommendations.

People with COVID-19 can typically stop home isolation under the following conditions:

If you were symptomatic:

  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared, AND
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).

If you were asymptomatic:

If you continue to be symptom free, you can stop self-isolation after 10 days have passed since you had your positive test.


Advice adapted from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.