If you have symptoms of COVID-19, how can you get tested for the coronavirus?
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus or think you may have been exposed, consult with a medical professional by phone.
- HealthJoy members can access our Coronavirus Self-Checker to determine how best to take care of themselves or their family using the latest CDC guidance.
- Call your doctor if you experience fever, shortness of breath, or coughing. See “treatment” below for more.
- Even if you have symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, you may not be able to find testing due to test shortages. .
- If you have mild symptoms and are at low risk, the CDC generally does not recommend getting a test. Isolate yourself and monitor your symptoms at home.
- The CDC issued additional guidance on who should be tested, but ultimately the decision to test is up to state and local governments and individual medical providers
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective.
- Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccinations on the CDC’s resource page.
- Distribution plans vary by state and municipality. To determine whether you are eligible for a vaccine and find an appointment, visit your state or local government’s website.
How can you get treatment for COVID-19?
- Having the novel coronavirus does not mean you will develop COVID-19, the disease it causes. If you are sick, CDC offers the following 10 ways to care for yourself at home.
- If you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing:
- If you cannot call your regular provider, you may be able to call an online medical consultation service provided by your insurance company (or through HealthJoy, if you are a member). Refer to your healthcare provider or state health department for guidance.
- Do not show up at a doctor’s office without calling first. They will need an advanced warning to prepare for your arrival.
- Your healthcare provider or state health department can help you decide whether you should be tested, provide a testing order, and direct you where to go.
- Follow CDC guidelines for quarantine and for keeping your home clean for your roommates or family.
- Get medical attention immediately if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19. Emergency warning signs can include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
- If you seek emergency care, inform emergency medical personnel that you believe you have COVID-19.
- Apps like Smart911 may make it easier for medical personnel to treat you in case of an emergency.
When is it safe to go outside after quarantine? It’s best to follow CDC guidelines to end home isolation due to illness.
Mental Health During COVID-19
The pandemic creates feelings of fear, isolation, loneliness, and anxiety for so many of us. Others are under increased stress due to job loss, child or eldercare responsibilities, or the reality of being cooped up with friends and family. During this time, it’s important to reach out for help.
- This Harvard Medical School article includes videos for coping with stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.
- Practice self-care; this Harvard Medical School article provides six helpful self-care tips.
- If you are struggling with mental illness, speak to a medical provider.
- If you are enrolled in an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, it includes resources for counseling. If you are a HealthJoy member, learn about your EAP options by visiting the wallet in the HealthJoy app. Reach out to your HR department with any questions.
- The National Alliance for Mental Illness provides coronavirus-specific resources and suggestions for coping while practicing social distancing.
Staying healthy at home
Stay-at-home orders shattered many of our routines. With the whole family crammed inside, gyms closed, and movement restricted, we’re all struggling to stay on track. Yet our health is more important than ever. It’s worth investing time to develop new, healthy routines—while remembering we’re all just doing our best.
- Prioritize healthy eating – it’s okay to stock up on essentials, but fresh foods are healthier (especially if you find yourself with more time to cook!).
- Make a new workout routine — walking or running outside while maintaining a safe distance, using free online workouts, or streaming a class from your favorite gym can help get you moving.
- Limit screen time – more time inside can mean more screen time, but try to limit your consumption before bed to improve sleep. Instead, turn to a puzzle, craft, board game, or book.
- Prioritize mental health – this might mean cutting news consumption, connecting with friends or loved ones via video chat, or beginning a meditation practice. If you need help, reach out. You can access free counseling resources through your EAP, or, if you are struggling with mental illness, speak to a medical provider.
- Keep your space clean – clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces like cabinet handles, doorknobs, and faucet handles daily.
- This list from TIME includes helpful tips and perspective on staying healthy at home.
Caring for a loved one
Many people sick with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and can recover at home. You may find yourself caring for a sick loved one during the pandemic.
- If your loved one is sick with COVID-19 (or suspects they may be sick) isolate them as much as possible. If it is an option, the CDC recommends they stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom.
- Wear a mask when caring for your loved one, and avoid contact as much as possible. For instance, leave food on a tray outside their room rather than bringing it to them.
- Disinfect your home. Sanitize all the surfaces they use regularly with an EPA-approved cleaner.
- Any family members in contact with the sick person will need to isolate themselves for at least 14 days without symptoms (see ending self-quarantine).
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