The coronavirus pandemic is gripping the United States, and positive cases continue to climb every day. Now more than ever, it’s important to have a game plan in place to help keep your loved ones and community safe if you have a positive covid-19 diagnosis. 

Contact Your Family, Friends and Employer

If you’ve been diagnosed with covid-19, the first thing to do is communicate your diagnosis to the people in your immediate physical network, such as friends, family members, and co-workers. This can be difficult, and it may feel inappropriate to share your personal health information with other people, but this helps keep the people near you safe. This will allow your family and workplace to take the appropriate steps to keep the people near you safe. It’s important that you communicate this news immediately and remotely to minimize the spread of covid-19.

Call Your Doctor

After informing your network of your diagnosis, call your physician to discuss what to expect and how to manage your symptoms. Be sure to speak with your doctor o, schedule a telehealth appointment so that you can have this conversation remotely.

Retrace Your Steps, and Reach Out to Potential Contacts

Symptoms of covid-19 typically take between 2 – 4 days to manifest, so it’s possible to spread the disease while you’re asymptomatic. After you get a positive diagnosis, do your best to estimate the date of exposure, then mentally retrace your steps over the past few days to compile a list of anyone you’ve come into physical contact with. Immediately notify everyone on your list to discuss your diagnosis and implore them to monitor their symptoms closely and get a test for covid-19. By alerting people you’ve contacted, you can help curb the spread of covid-19 in your community.

Understand – and Manage – Your Symptoms

Covid-19 manifests differently from patient to patient, but most people experience these common symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting

You can better manage these symptoms by drinking plenty of water, getting adequate rest, and adopting a healthy diet full of vitamins and nutrients. The average recovery time for mild cases is between 10 and 14 days, while severe cases can last anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. So, be patient and speak with your physician about a healthy symptom management plan.

Isolate Yourself as Much as Possible

If you’re diagnosed with a positive case of covid-19, you must isolate yourself from others as much as possible. That means isolating yourself to a single room and bathroom in your house where others cannot enter until you receive a negative covid-19 test result, and you are no longer contagious.

Arrange a Plan for Groceries

If you have covid-19, then you should do your best to remain at home until you are diagnosed as covid-19 negative. To avoid leaving your home for food, ask a friend or family member to pick up groceries for you and deliver them to your front doorstep. Be sure that they leave your house before going outside to retrieve your groceries, which will prevent exposing your loved one to covid-19.

If no one can help deliver groceries to your doorstep, look around for grocery delivery services or contactless grocery pickup near you.

Prepare for Lonely Meals

If you live with roommates, it can be difficult to feed yourself without venturing into a public space like the kitchen. Ask one of your roommates to prepare meals for you and deliver them to your bedroom door. After eating, wipe food debris off of your plate and utensils, and sanitize them with alcohol wipes before leaving them outside of your door for your roommate to retrieve. If you live alone, prepare your meals as you regularly would, but thoroughly clean and disinfect each of the cooking tools and surfaces you use after you’re done.

Share a Clean Bathroom

If you live with roommates and share a bathroom, then you must take some extra steps to help keep your housemates safe and healthy. When using the restroom, or leaving your room, wear a face mask, and ask that others in your house do the same. Do not remove your mask until you’re back in your private bedroom. After using the restroom, thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and dry your hands with a paper towel or disposable tissue. Take the trash with you to dispose of in your room. After washing your hands, thoroughly clean and disinfect the spaces you came into contact with, like the toilet, the bathrooms sink and faucet, and the door handle to the bathroom.

Understand Serious Symptoms, and Take Action

Most people experience moderate symptoms of covid-19, but there are some severe symptoms that require prompt attention from a medical professional. Call your doctor, or go to the hospital immediately if you experience any of these severe symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to wake up
  • Bluish lips or face

These symptoms indicate a severe case of covid-19, which can be lethal. If you – or someone you know who’s diagnosed with covid-19 – experiences these symptoms, then get to a hospital immediately. Wear a mask on your trip and stay as far away from people as possible to keep others safe.

Be Prepared, Have a Plan

Having a plan is the most effective way to deal with a positive covid-19 diagnosis. Receiving a positive diagnosis can be scary, but following a plan will help you better manage your symptoms and keep those around you safe.

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