If You Are Sick: COVID-19 - Minnesota Dept. of Health
As we learn more about COVID-19, recommendations and guidance are updated frequently. Please check back often.

If You Are Sick: COVID-19

On this page:
If you are sick or test positive for COVID-19
How long to stay home
Going to the doctor
Caring for someone who is sick

If you are sick or test positive for COVID-19

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and away from others, even if you do not have symptoms.
    • Symptoms may appear up to 14 days after you are close to someone with COVID-19 (exposed).
    • You can spread COVID-19 to others several days before you have any symptoms, or even if you never have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are older or have certain medical conditions, it is helpful to let your health care provider know you have COVID-19. They may have specific advice for you.
  • Seek medical care right away if your symptoms get worse or you have difficulty breathing. Before going to the doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
COVID-19 Medication Options
If you have COVID-19 and are older or have another health condition, you may be eligible for treatment. Note: some treatments must be given as soon as possible after a positive test result.

How long to stay home

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home until all three of these things are true:
    • You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
      and
    • It has been 10 days since you first felt sick.
      and
    • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, you must still stay home and away from others for 10 days.
  • If a lab test shows you have COVID-19, someone from the health department will give you more information and answer your questions.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have questions.
  • If a lab test shows you do not have COVID-19 but you have symptoms, stay home until your symptoms are better and you do not have a fever. Symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to other illnesses. It is important to follow your health care provider’s advice before going back to school, work, or other places.
  • People who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 need to stay home and away from others. The safest option is to stay home and away from others for 14 days.
    • In certain situations, you may consider being around others after 10 days, or after seven days with a negative COVID-19 test result. You cannot end your quarantine before seven days for any reason. Visit Close Contacts and Tracing for more information.

Going to the doctor

  • Call ahead before going in to see a health care provider.
  • If you are older or have other medical conditions, it may be helpful to let your health care provider know you are sick. They may have some specific advice for you.
  • Some people with COVID-19 have worse symptoms during the second week of illness.
    • Seek medical care right away if your illness is getting worse (for example, if you have difficulty breathing). Call ahead and tell them your symptoms.
  • Low oxygen levels can be an early warning sign that people need medical care. For more information, see Oxygen Levels, Pulse Oximeters, and COVID-19.

CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker found at Symptoms of Coronavirus can help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. This tool is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or other conditions, including COVID-19.

Caring for someone who is sick

  • If someone in your household gets sick, do your best to keep them away from others in the house. Have one person take care of the person who is sick. Stay 6 feet away from the person who is sick as much as you can.
  • The person who is sick should wear a cloth face covering when anyone else is in the room, except when sleeping. The caregiver, and everyone else in the house, should wear cloth face coverings when they are in the same room with the person who is sick. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is not able to remove the covering without help.
  • The person who is sick should not make food or eat with others in the house.
  • If a sleeping room must be shared, open doors or windows sometimes to get fresh air inside. Sleep at least 6 feet apart, hang curtains or put cardboard walls around the person who is sick, and sleep head to toe.
  • If a bathroom must be shared, clean doorknobs, faucets, and other surfaces people touch a lot. Clean each time the person who is sick uses the bathroom.
  • Always wash your hands when touching surfaces and items in rooms the sick person also uses. Do not to touch your face with unwashed hands.

Updated Wednesday, 10-Mar-2021 14:56:12 CST