What to do if You're Sick with COVID-19 & Testing Information
UPDATED March 27, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
What to do if You’re Sick
Stay home when you are sick with symptoms of COVID-19, except to get medical care. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Call ahead before going to your healthcare provider.
Isolate Sick Person to Protect Other Household Members
- Stay in a separate room from the rest of your household members.
- Use a separate bathroom if possible.
- Keep toothbrushes separate if you must use the same bathroom.
- Family and roommates should avoid contact with sick person and practice self-quarantine.
- Wear a mask if you go into shared spaces.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects. Learn about disinfecting your home if someone is sick from CDC.
- Review our specific recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine, Self-Monitoring and Social Distancing.
Managing Symptoms at Home
- Stay home to manage mild symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, fatigue, abdominal cramps, mild nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) up to every 4 hours or ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) up to every 6 hours for fever. You can alternate these if you need relief prior to when the next dose is due. Do not exceed the maximum dose per day for any medication.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks. Eat when possible.
- Avoid other family members and friends by following the Isolation instructions.
- Review 10 ways to manage respiratory symptoms at home from CDC.
When to Seek Medical Care
Call your doctor if you have:
- Fever that does not come down with medication.
- Vomiting or diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours or any bloody diarrhea.
- Shortness of breath.
- Symptoms that keep getting worse and feel unmanageable.
Call ahead to the Emergency Department or Call 9-1-1 if you have:
- Difficulty breathing/inability to catch your breath.
- Chest pain.
- Feel faint, light-headed or unstable in any other way.
When Seeking Care at a Health Care Facility
- Call ahead to get instructions from your health care provider. They may want to meet you outside or use a different entrance than the general public uses.
- Avoid using public transportation to get to your medical provider or emergency department. Do not use busses, Uber, Lyft, or taxi cabs.
- If you are unable to drive yourself and do not have a ride, call 9-1-1 for transport by ambulance. Inform them of your symptoms ahead of time.
- If a family member or friend is giving you a ride, wear a mask or fabric that covers your mouth and nose while you are in the vehicle with them.
- If you are driving yourself, apply a mask or fabric that covers your mouth and nose before exiting your vehicle.
- What to do if you are sick from CDC
- Washtenaw County Health Department recommendations for managing your symptoms at home, when to seek medical care, and how to seek medical care: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, or Arabic.
Call your health care provider, urgent care, or emergency room before going in for testing or treatment.
Where is Testing Happening?
Testing is ongoing by local health care providers. Individuals with concerns or symptoms should call their health care provider about testing. If you do not have a primary care provider, some urgent cares and health systems are providing testing.
For local testing information:
- See Michigan Medicine’s website
- For Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, call 1-833-247-1258
- View more information on other Southeast Michigan testing options (PDF)
Testing is available through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) lab and commercial labs. Health care providers should view our information for providers webpage for additional instructions. Clinicians are encouraged to test for other causes of respiratory illness, including infections such as influenza, first.
Who is Getting Tested?
Some people are being prioritized for testing to ensure optimal care for hospitalized patients and those at highest risk and to lessen the risk of health-care associated infections. See current priorities for testing patients with suspected COVID-19 infection from the U.S. Public Health Service. Call your healthcare provider if you think you should be tested.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Remember that these symptoms may also be caused by other viruses, such as flu. Additionally, an individual without symptoms is very unlikely to test positive, even with possible exposure.
I Think I Have Been Exposed to COVID-19. What Should I Do?
View this flowchart from MDHHS for information on what to do if you think you were exposed to COVID-19.