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When You Are Sick

COVID-19 Checklist for When You Are Sick

Responding to COVID-19

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, 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.

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 suspected 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.
  • Follow the 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 ALL THREE of the below:
  1. You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (three full days) without the use medicine that reduces fevers.
  2. Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved).
  3. At least seven have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • If you will have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after ALL THREE of the below:
  1. You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers).
  2. Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved).
  3. You received two negative tests in a row, 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).

If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community. 

Prevention Infographic

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

  • Stay home 
  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
  • Call before visiting your doctor
  • Practice good hygiene habits 

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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