Covid-19 Symptoms: What to Do If You Might Have It

If you’re experiencing constant chest pain or pressure, extreme breathing difficulties, severe dizziness, slurred speech, confusion, difficulty waking up, or have bluish lips or face, call 911 or get immediate medical attention. The Apple and CDC diagnosis tool may be useful to check as your symptoms change. If you’re generally too sick to eat, drink, or use the toilet, those are also signs to seek call your doctor or seek medical help.

If you aren’t experiencing severe symptoms that warrant an emergency, the CDC recommends you stay in touch with your doctor, and call before leaving home to get medical care. Many less serious health visits are being done via telemedicine or over the phone, and a call gives them time to plan for your arrival, or discuss your situation.

If you have underlying health conditions like asthma, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or a compromised immune, consider talking to a health professional before your symptoms get too bad (via phone or email). If you have a doctor who specializes in one of these conditions, it’s good to work out a plan with them.

Remember, fellow hypochondriacs: The vast majority of people that contract Covid-19 won’t need medical attention, and most who do need medical help will be OK.

You Might Never Get Tested

Photograph: Bob Riha Jr/Getty Images

Not everyone needs to be tested for Covid-19.

If you are a healthcare worker who has symptoms, or are hospitalized with symptoms, the CDC considers testing a top priority. Older patients in long-term care facilities, those 65 or above, patients with underlying conditions, and first responders should ask about getting tested. As resources allow, the CDC recommends critical infrastructure workers, and those with mild symptoms in heavily affected communities be tested. If you don’t have symptoms, there is no reason to get tested.

Looking for a test? Unfortunately, there’s no nationally standardized place to go at this time. Instead, you’ll have to consult your state or local health department to see when, where, and if tests are available to you. WhileAtHome.org has a good state-level directory of numbers and websites.

To learn more read WIRED’s Everything You Need to Know about Covid-19 Testing guide.

When to Stop Self-Isolating

Think you’ve recovered from Covid-19? Here’s how to know when it’s safe to stop self-isolation. Remember, all of the below bullet points must be true before you leave isolation, according to the CDC. And even then, it’s wise to still stay at home if possible. Many states and cities have shelter-in-place rules.