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When You Are Sick - COVID-19 Checklist

COVID-19 Checklist for When You Are Sick

Responding to COVID-19

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop the symptoms listed below, or other symptoms that are severe or concerning, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. Notify the operator that you have or think you might have, COVID-19.

You may have COVID-19 if you have:

  • Fever or chills.
  • A cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Sore throat.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

Symptoms may be mild or severe and may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a “self-checker” tool to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. You can find it here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly recommends the following if you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you have COVID-19:

  • Stay home except to get medical care. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home but should not leave or visit public areas.
  • Keep in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home. As much as possible, stay in a specific “sick room.” Use a separate bathroom, if available. Limit contact with pets and animals; there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is recommended that people with the virus limit contact with animals until more is known.
  • If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office or emergency department, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19.
  • Wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth (unless you have trouble breathing) if you must be around other people or animals, including pets, even at home. You don’t need to wear the cloth face covering if you are alone. Never put masks on children 2 or younger or people who cannot remove them on their own.

    Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people, even at home.
  • Follow the additional prevention tips in the graphic below, especially, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and avoid touching your face.

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. Wash thoroughly after use.

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom every day with household cleaners and disinfectants, using as directed on the label; ask someone else to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home. Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.

  • Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care if they are worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing). Call the doctor or emergency department before going.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include* the following:
  1. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  2. Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
  3. New confusion or inability to arouse.
  4. Bluish lips or face.

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

  • If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after BOTH of the following:

  1. Three full days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (no fever without use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in symptoms).
  2. At least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms.
  • If you will have a lab test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after ALL THREE of the following:

  1. There is no fever without use of fever-reducing medications.
  2. There is improvement in symptoms.
  3. You received two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart.
  • Always follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and local health department. 

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call the COVID-19 CareLine at 1-800-720-9616.

Prevention Infographic

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.

  • Stay home except for work or other needs
  • Wear a face covering when going out
  • Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Shop at non-peak hours.
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect "high-touch" surfaces often
  • Don’t work when sick
  • Call before visiting your doctor

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)


High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

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