By this point, we should all be familiar with COVID-19 protocols. However, it can still be alarming and overwhelming when we suspect we’ve caught the virus. It can be difficult to know what to do, especially when work and life’s demands hang in the balance.
While more and more people continue to get vaccinated, the health care sector is still very much recommending that people sick with Coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate to prevent it from spreading.
If you have any concerns that you have COVID-19, there are ways to handle the matter.
1. Assume You Have COVID-19
Health care professionals are telling patients to rather assume they have the virus and isolate themselves until they have their test results. You can get covid testing at urgent care clinics for quick results.
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to get tested.
- Cold or flu-like symptoms (cough, runny nose, or sore throat)
- Burning sensation of the respiratory system
- Chills or fever
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or joint aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss or changes in the sense of taste or smell
2. Call Your Doctor
If you suspect you have the virus or have been in contact with someone who is positive, you must call your doctor. They will explain to you what steps you need to take and advise you where to go for testing in your area.
Your doctor will explain to you that rapid or antigen testing is not as accurate as PCR testing. They will recommend you get the PCR test done so that the best action can be taken for your case.
It is particularly important to get an accurate test if you have any underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or a heart condition that could lead to complications.
3. Alert Your Medical Aid Provider
Before getting tested, you typically need to complete a telehealth or online risk assessment via your medical aid provider’s portals. This ensures that you are at risk of having the virus, and they can therefore approve payment for your test.
4. Go For Your Test ASAP
Many people take a day or so to go and take their Covid test as they perhaps don’t feel well enough to go out or are hoping they do not have the virus.
Rather go as soon as you can after talking with your doctor and medical aid company. The sooner you know, the better you can take care of yourself and those around you.
Most testing stations are well-planned to make sure people are socially distanced. Drive-through testing stations are safer and more convenient than going to clinics for testing. You will have no contact with anyone but the health care workers taking your nose and throat samples, and they will be wearing the appropriate PPE.
5. Isolate Until You Get Your Test Results
As we said earlier, it’s best to act as though you are positive while you await test results, just in case. If your results are negative, you have two options:
- Ask to get re-tested if you’re worried you have too many Covid-like symptoms
- If you are happy with your results, you can de-isolate.
And, of course, if you are positive, you will need to remain in isolation.
6. Isolate For 10 Days
Isolate for ten days starting from when your symptoms began. Asymptomatic people must isolate ten days from the time of receiving their test results.
Mild symptoms can be managed at home. If you are struggling to breathe or have any other serious symptoms, you should go to the emergency room to be admitted to the hospital.
Once the ten days have passed, some symptoms like a cough may linger, but so long as you do not have any fever, it is safe to de-isolate.
The Bottom Line
If you suspect you have Covid-19 take action right away. Isolate yourself and get tested as soon as possible. This is the best way to best protect yourself and those around you.