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When Should I See a Doctor for COVID-19?

March 18, 2024

When Should I See a Doctor for COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral infection transmitted from human-to-human via respiratory droplets or by lacking hygiene measurements — such as regular hand washing habits — after being exposed to contaminated surfaces.

The incubation time for COVID takes around 2 to 14 days — the time from which you may not present symptoms after your first exposure to the virus.

In this article, we will elaborate on recommendations based on the CDC guidelines for those who have been exposed to COVID-19 or suspect to be showing potential symptoms of illness.

What to do if I think I may have COVID-19? 

If you are sick and suspect it may be COVID-19, the first thing the CDC recommends is to isolate yourself as soon as possible to prevent the spread. 

Symptoms that may indicate having COVID-19 include: 

  • Fever 
  • Shaking chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing (shortness of breath)
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose

If you are experiencing mild symptoms — such as those mentioned above — you will be able to recover at the comfort of your home. Make sure to contact a healthcare professional to provide you with self-care instructions, such as how to monitor and report your symptoms.

How do I find a COVID-19 test near me?

Instead of going to the hospital — unless if it is a medical emergency — reach out to your doctor through either telemedicine, phone, or e-mail. If necessary, your healthcare provider will guide you on how to get a COVID test.

COVID testing availability depends on decisions made by your state and local health departments. You can find the latest updates about testing policies on the official websites of state & territorial health departments.

When should I seek emergency medical attention?

Depending on each person, COVID-19 symptoms can be mild to severe. However, it is most likely for older adults and people with underlying medical conditions — including but not limited to heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease — to experience severe symptoms or complications from COVID-19.

It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing serious complications of COVID-19, such as:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Disorientated state or confusion
  • Persistent chest pain
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Lips or face tone turning blue

COVID-19 is a relatively new illness, from which symptoms are still being studied and discovered. Reach immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any other severe symptoms that were not mentioned above.

How do I prepare myself to go to the doctor if I have COVID-19? 

For people with COVID-19 who need to break quarantine due to an emergency — such as to get medical attention or pick up prescribed medicines — the recommendations by the CDC encourage to take the following measures:

  • Notify your doctor or healthcare facility before visiting.
  • Wear a face mask when going outside.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice social distancing (try to stay 6 feet away from others).
  • If possible, pay with touchless methods. Otherwise, sanitize your hands after making payments with card or cash.
  • Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds when you get back home.
  • To reduce your visits to the pharmacy, check with your healthcare provider if you can have a larger supply of medicines.

At BASS Primary Care, our healthcare professionals can assist you with any concerns you may have about COVID-19. Feel welcome to reach out to us through our website, where we are currently offering our Urgent Care Online services. We are here to help you!

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.