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COVID-19: CDC guidelines following a positive test

The coronavirus variant omicron continues to infect people, only increasing the number of positive COVID-19 cases.

covid-19 positive test tube

As cases increase, there is an increased chance of testing positive for COVID. For some, this may be their first time testing positive.

This may leave you wondering what to do if you do if this diagnosis does come.

Luckily, many of the new COVID cases produce more mild symptoms.

Omicron, what are the symptoms?

Key guidelines for handling a positive COVID-19 test

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home as much as possible. The CDC recommends staying home and to avoid public areas. The majority of people who test positive for COVID only experience mild illness and can recover at home without professional medical care.

Over-the-counter medications and home remedies can help combat the symptoms associated with COVID. Fever and body-aches are common symptoms.

Dr. Emily Landon, infectious disease expert at the University of Chicago, says that Tylenol, Advil, Aleve and Motrin help to reduce fever as well as body-aches.

Chamomile or herbal tea, or even hot water with lemon is advised for those suffering from cough and sore throat. Throat lozenges and decongestant balms can also help.

Landon says that some of the over-the-counter medications haven’t been proven effective at treating those symptoms, but these remedies should help.

If you test positive but still need to be around people or animals, even inside the home, wearing a mask is encouraged.

Flurona and COVID-19 vaccines

Symptoms and isolation explained

It is a reality for many people who have and will test positive for COVID that they cannot isolate.

Do your best to stay away from the other people and pets that are in your home. Try to keep contained in a particular room and use a separate bathroom if possible.

CDC research says that people who have been infected with COVID can start spreading up to two days before they begin to experience symptoms.

This is why it is important to inform the people you’ve been in close contact with prior to your diagnosis, that you are positive.

The majority of people who test positive for COVID will only experience mild symptoms. However, there are symptoms that are much more severe and warrant a hospital visit or a call to 911.

Those include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds

Isolation for a positive COVID test was recently cut in half by the CDC. It is now recommended that you isolate for at least five days. If after five days the symptoms are gone, they can leave isolation. It is recommended that you continue to wear a mask an additional five days after you leave isolation.

If symptoms persist past the five day isolation, stay home until you feel better. Once you feel okay again, wear a mask for five days from that date.

Best practice is to find an antigen testing location near you after the five day period.

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