I Think I Have COVID-19: Should I Get Tested or Stay Home?
Although our understanding of COVID-19 has improved dramatically since its outbreak in 2019, it’s important to remember that it can cause severe illness. This is especially true for individuals with diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic medical conditions. But does everyone need a test? And when should you consider staying home?
MyDoc Urgent Care blends the benefits of top-level medical services with the convenience of walk-in care for allergy flare-ups, car accident injuries, viral illnesses, and other acute conditions. We also offer testing and treatment for COVID-19.
Check the latest guidelines regarding what to do when experiencing symptoms that may be consistent with COVID.
Do I need a COVID-19 test?
The CDC continues to recommend that anyone who’s been exposed to the virus or develops COVID-like symptoms undergo testing.
Signs and symptoms of COVID to watch for include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fever or chills
- Decreased appetite
- Fatigue (often severe)
- Body aches and pains
- New loss of smell or taste
- Headache (often significant)
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion or persistently runny nose
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
You may notice that many of these symptoms are common to various respiratory illnesses from the common cold to influenza. COVID testing can help ease health concerns and provide insight for treatment by identifying which virus you’re experiencing.
COVID testing available at MyDoc Urgent Care includes quick-result antigen testing and the more detailed molecular (PCR) test, which may not provide results for several days.
Should I come in for COVID testing?
Our services at MyDoc Urgent Care include telemedicine visits, which allow you to meet electronically with a healthcare professional. Your provider may recommend an in-office COVID test after discussing your symptoms, risk factors for severe illness, and other pertinent health factors.
We ask that you wear a well-fitting mask in public places and follow other safety protocols, such as remaining comfortable at home and avoiding close contact with others if you suspect a COVID infection.
If your test is positive, your MyDoc provider supplies guidelines that can help prevent worsening illness or community spread.
You also receive important information about the signs and symptoms of worsening infection, including:
- Increasing shortness of breath with even minimal activity
- Persistent fever that doesn’t respond to medication
- Worsening difficulty breathing, even at rest
- Cough that makes it hard to talk or sleep
- Difficulty eating or drinking
- Chest pain
- Bluish discoloration of the lips, toes, or fingers
Call the office sooner rather than later, or consider seeking emergency care if you experience these symptoms, whether or not you’ve had a positive COVID test.
Is there treatment for COVID-19?
Treatments for COVID-19 include oral antivirals such as Paxlovid or intravenous (IV) Remdesivir. However, you must start antiviral therapy within a few days of contracting the virus. These medicines are generally recommended for individuals at risk of severe illness and have effectively reduced hospitalizations and complications related to COVID.
Your MyDoc Urgent Care physician can also prescribe at-home remedies to reduce your symptoms, including medication to control fever and manage body aches. Notably, most people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 illness recover without hospitalization.