What should I do if I am sick?

This information can change, please double-check sources for information, and continue to monitor sources or back here for updates.


  • People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. 
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency. If you do not have a primary care provider, you may be able to visit a county clinic or a federally qualified health center. Call the clinic first to see if you can be seen there and to find out what the process is for getting an appointment. Some clinics will require an intake or registration for treatment.

Stay home and separate from others

  • When and how to Isolate
  • Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19. 

Improve ventilation (air flow) at home to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading to other people

  • Improving ventilation can help you reduce virus particles in your home and keep COVID-19 from spreading. More information on improving air flow in the home can be found here. 

Monitor symptoms and follow healthcare provider instructions

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office or emergency department, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. 
  • It is of the utmost importance that you never put a mask or face covering on an infant or an adult that is not able to adjust or remove the mask themselves. This could compromise their ability to breathe.
  • If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live in the home should stay in a different room. When caregivers enter the room of the sick person, they should wear a facemask. Visitors, other than caregivers, are not recommended.
Clean your hands often
  • Wash your hands often with regular soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Ensure that children in your care are washing their hands correctly and frequently with regular soap and water.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Soap and water are the best options, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching.

Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
  • This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other
    symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.

  • Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
  • 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.
  • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom.
  • High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
  • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants: Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. More information on when and how to clean and disinfect your home can be found here.