If I am COVID-19 positive, how can I best take care of myself if I am not admitted to the hospital?

If you have tested positive and your symptoms are mild, the most important things to do are to minimize transmission to others and to monitor for worsening of symptoms which should prompt hospitalization. To reduce your risk of transmitting the disease to others, it is important to practice home isolation, which means separating yourself from others in your household. Ideally this can be done by staying in a separate room and using separate washrooms. If you must be in an enclosed space (same room or vehicle) with others you should wear a face mask, the same applies when you present to any healthcare setting. Avoid leaving your home unless absolutely necessary. You and other members of your household should routinely disinfect frequently touched surfaces. A list of disinfectants known to be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19 can be found at the Environmental Protection Agency Website.

For mild cases of COVID-19, reducing strenuous activity, maintaining hydration, and as-directed use of over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can reduce the discomfort associated with fever and aches that may present with the infection. During this time you should still take any medications you take regularly. If you have specific questions regarding what medications you should or should not take, please request a telephone consultation with your family physician or call telehealth. If you have tested positive and have started to feel short of breath and / or have difficulty breathing, please contact emergency services and let them know you have recently tested positive for COVID-19, you will be brought into hospital for assessment.

If tested positive, Public Health Ontario has provided recommendations on how to self-isolate. When you are tested for positive at an Assessment Centre, you will be provided with instructions how long to self-isolate. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also provides a recommendation on when it is safe to discontinue self-isolation after being tested positive.

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