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What do I do if I’m sick?

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or show symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and get a COVID-19 test. Common symptoms are fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, sore throat, chills, aching body, having trouble breathing, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and new loss of taste or smell.

If at any time you experience trouble breathing, pain or pressure in your chest, new confusion, inability to stay awake, or changes in skin color around your mouth or nail beds, call 911 or have someone take you to the emergency room right away.

If you test positive for COVID-19 or suspect you have COVID-19, here’s how to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community:

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Isolate at home

If you have COVID-19, isolate at home during the illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. 

Stay home for five days after your symptoms start. If you are still sick after five days, continue to stay home. If your symptoms have improved, and it has been at least 24 hours since you have had a fever, you can return to outside activities if you wear a well-fitting mask the whole time. You should wear a mask in public, indoor spaces for five days after isolation.

Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. If you need groceries contactless delivery or pickup is preferred. 2-1-1 can help with food shelf.


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Stay away from others

As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available. If it is not, make sure to use your own towels and wipe surfaces down.

Avoid all contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. 


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Wear a well-fitting mask or respirator if you are sick

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, wear a well-fitting facemask around other people for 10 days following your positive test. Children under 2 should not wear a mask, and no one should sleep in a mask.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are not able to wear a facemask, then cover your coughs and sneezes. People caring for you should wear a facemask around you. 


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Seek treatment options if you are at risk of severe illness

If you test positive COVID-19 and are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 (including older adults ages 50 years or more and people with certain medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, or a weakened immune system), treatments are available that can reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying from the disease.

Medications to treat COVID-19 must be prescribed by a healthcare provider and started as soon as possible after diagnosis to be effective. If you do not have access to a healthcare provider, telehealth services are available through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to connect you with COVID-19 treatment.


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Practice everyday habits to prevent spreading COVID-19

See the best ways to avoid exposing other people to COVID-19.

Notifying Close Contacts of Positive Exposure