I Tested Positive for COVID, What Now?

LAST UPDATED 12/16/2021

Tested positive for COVID? Here's what to know.

  • It’s important to quarantine, make sure you are fever free, and wait until symptoms improve or resolve

 

  • You may experience symptoms 2-14 days after the initial infection

 

  • Once they are approved,  Lagevrio and Paxlovid (oral antiviral COVID treatments) will be available by prescription

 

  • If you are experiencing severe or worsening symptoms, seek help from an emergency facility

I Tested Positive for COVID, What Now?

If you get a positive COVID test, it is important to quarantine for at least 10 days since the positive test or first sign of symptoms. Even if asymptomatic, isolation is key in order to avoid infecting others.

You should also be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. 

If you are experiencing symptoms you should wait until symptoms improve or resolve, with the exception of the loss of taste or smell which could last weeks. 

If symptoms worsen, you should seek treatment from an emergency facility.

testing tube with virus

Do I Need to Take Another COVID Test After Getting a Positive Test?

No, the test may still come back positive even if symptoms resolve. 

After 10 days and no symptoms, there is no risk of infecting others.

More COVID testing will not determine improvement or resolvement of the illness. 

What to Expect After a Positive COVID Test?

If you are not experiencing any symptoms, you may not experience any throughout the course. 

However it could still be too early, symptoms can start 2-14 days after initial infection. Symptoms usually resolve within two weeks from onset, even without treatment. 

Symptoms of COVID are similar to flu and common cold.

These symptoms include:

  • fever 
  • chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting

When Should I Go Somewhere for Treatment?

For anyone experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, it is important to stay home and rest. Treatment at home may not be necessary, however, symptoms can worsen. 

If you are at risk of developing more severe symptoms, oral antiviral treatment may help improve outcomes. 

If you are experiencing severe symptoms, seek help from an emergency facility. Severe symptoms to watch out for include breathing, persistent pain in your chest, worsening fever, or worsening of symptoms.

patient picking up prescription from a pharmacy

Where Can I go for Covid Treatment?

Once Lagevrio (formerly known as Molnupiravir) or Paxlovid are approved they will be available for at home use with a prescription. If you need treatment with mild or moderate symptoms, you will be able to go to your primary care physician’s office, to a clinic, or through Script Health.

Getting an appointment with a physician can be difficult to set up in short notice in order to get treatment for COVID.

Script Health offers the opportunity to get treatment sooner and with less of a hassle. If you are experiencing any severe symptoms, you should seek immediate help from an emergency facility. 

 

Use this tool to find a pharmacy near you that offers prescription services.

What Treatment is Available?

Currently, there is no treatment available for at home use, however there are two oral medications that are in process for FDA approval.

Merck has developed an antiviral, Lagevrio, which has shown to decrease the risk of hospitalization and mortality. Paxlovid by Pfizer has shown benefits in people who were at high risk for developing severe symptoms.

While those drugs are still in process of being approved, the best treatment is to rest and drink plenty of water. You may take medications to help treat symptoms like acetaminophen for fever.

More resources

Scripted - Pharmacist Provide Care

Resources:

  1. Covid-19 quarantine and isolation. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html. Accessed November 18, 2021. 
  2. Ending isolation and precautions for people with covid-19: Interim guidance. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html#cecommendations. Accessed November 18, 2021. 
  3. Alsharif W, Qurashi A. Effectiveness of COVID-19 diagnosis and management tools: A review. Radiography (Lond). 2021;27(2):682-687. doi:10.1016/j.radi.2020.09.010
  4. Treatments for covid-19. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/treatments-for-covid-19. Published November 5, 2021. Accessed November 18, 2021. 
  5. Commissioner Oof the. FDA has approved one drug and authorized others for emergency use. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/know-your-treatment-options-covid-19. Accessed November 18, 2021.

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