You're Experiencing Symptoms, Now What?

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: April 8, 2020

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many will contract COVID-19 and experience only mild symptoms. A recent study showed the hospitalization rate for confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States during March was 4.6 for every 100,000 patients. Even so, the prospect of coming down with the coronavirus is understandably daunting and scary to most. If you start experiencing a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, then follow these expert guidelines to take care of yourself and to help protect your household and the community.

Stay Home
Once you start experiencing symptoms, you need to remain in your home. Isolate yourself from other members of your household, including any pets. If possible, designate a bedroom and bathroom only for your use. Wear a face mask if you must leave your “sick room.” Your roommates or family members will also need to isolate themselves in the home and self-monitor for symptoms. Be sure you are washing your hands often, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Call a Doctor
According to the CDC, most individuals who contract COVID-19 will be able to recover safely at home. Instead of rushing to the ER, call your primary care physician to inform them of your symptoms. If you do not have a primary care physician, you can call or make a telemedicine appointment with a Kroger Health practitioner. The doctor or practitioner will ask you a series of questions, including:
  • Have you had contact with someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19 or who was experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms?
  • What symptoms are you experiencing?
  • Do you have any health conditions (i.e., diabetes, asthma, heart disease, etc.)?

The doctor or practitioner will give you instructions and advice for taking care of yourself and your symptoms. Continue to keep in touch with your doctor or check-in regularly with a healthcare practitioner if you have questions, your symptoms worsen, or if you have concerns.

Monitor Your Symptoms
Be aware of how you are feeling. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek immediate medical attention. When you call 911 or another medical professional, be sure to inform them you’re experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus so they can take the proper precautions. The CDC considers the following symptoms “emergency warning signs” for COVID-19:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

If you experience severe symptoms that are not listed above, be sure to call your primary care physician or another healthcare provider immediately. And most importantly, don’t panic. While the thought of having contracted COVID-19 can cause anxiety, know that many people are able to recover from the virus without experiencing severe symptoms.

Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.