If You Are Sick: COVID-19 - Minnesota Dept. of Health

If You Are Sick: COVID-19

On this page:
If you are sick
Contact with someone who has COVID-19
How long to stay home if sick
Going to the doctor
Caring for someone who is sick

If you are sick

Contact with someone who has COVID-19

  • In general, close contact means being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period. However, even shorter periods of time or longer distances can result in spread of the virus. The longer someone is close to the person who has COVID-19, and the closer they are, the greater the chance the virus can spread.
  • If you have close contact with someone who has been told by a doctor, clinic or hospital that they have COVID-19:
    • Watch yourself for symptoms for 14 days.
    • Stay home.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Clean surfaces you touch.
  • What to do if you have had close contact with a person with COVID-19

How long to stay home if sick

  • If you have 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.
    • It has been 10 days since you first felt sick.
    • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have questions.
  • If a lab test shows you have COVID-19, someone from the health department will give you more information and answer your 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 work, school, or other settings.
    • People who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 need to stay home for 14 days even if they get a negative test result.

Going to the doctor

  • Call ahead before going in to see a health care provider.
  • If you are older or have underlying 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 worsened during the second week of illness.
    • Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (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, may want to 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, 25-Nov-2020 17:33:55 CST