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How to Cope With COVID-19 at Home

Published in Family Medicine, Infectious Diseases, For the Health of It Author: Kimberly Tjaden,MD

While the new omicron variant of COVID-19 is less severe, it’s also more contagious. If this is the first time you’ve had COVID, you just might be wondering what you should do.

If you’re experiencing mild symptoms, like that of a cold, you might not need to seek medical care and you can recover at home.

With the omicron variant, most cases will resolve without the need for prescription medication or additional care, especially if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and received your booster.

When it comes to at-home care for mild COVID-19 symptoms, there are three things you can do to promote healing:

  • Get rest.
  • Stay well-hydrated.
  • Take over-the-counter medication for a fever.

Recovering at home means you also need to stay home and isolate from anyone else in the household for at least five days. Given the rapid transmission rates of omicron, no matter how mild your symptoms, you can still pass the infection to others in your household.

After the five days of isolation, if you don’t have any symptoms, you can leave home but you should wear a tight-fitting mask anyplace you go for the next five days. That includes continuing to mask when around your household members. For a full 10 days, you should not go anyplace where you cannot remain masked at all times. That means no eating or drinking in public.

While you might not need to see a health care provider for COVID-19, it’s still important to inform them of your positive case, especially if you took an at-home test. That way they can assist you with any concerning symptoms and they will know your medical history in case more action should be taken. You can send your health care provider a message via MyChart.

It is important to monitor yourself to make sure mild symptoms don’t turn into ones that may require medical attention. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Chest pain or pressure in the chest.
  • Getting confused or lightheaded, or feeling like you might pass out.
  • Looking pale or even bluish, especially your lips or fingertips. This can be a sign that you need more oxygen and need to seek medical care immediately.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, call CentraCare Connect at 320-200-3200. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

Regardless of symptoms, certain people need to contact their health care provider if they test positive for COVID-19. People with lung disease or heart disease; chronic kidney disease and are on dialysis; immunocompromised; or take immunosuppressant medications. They could be eligible for monoclonal antibody therapy or antiviral medication.