What to Do If You Are Positive for COVID-19

If you received a positive result for your COVID-19 test, please read the instructions below carefully. Note that if you test positive on a home antigen test, you are considered COVID positive.  You do not need to schedule a PCR test unless required by your employer, school, etc.

Important: If you are having trouble breathing or feel you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.

Fortunately, most people diagnosed with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Following the guidelines below will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.

If You Test Positive for COVID-19:

      • Stay home for 5 days. If you have symptoms, day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. If you do not have symptoms, day 1 is the first full day after your test specimen was collected.
      • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
      • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. If you cannot wear a mask, you should continue to stay home for an additional 5 days

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

Stay home except to get medical care

      • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
      • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
      • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
    • Treatment Options

      • Anti-Viral treatment. If you’re concerned about your symptoms, or to see if you’re eligible for Paxlovid, an anti-viral treatment pill taken by mouth, call your PCP or schedule a virtual visit with our Virtual Care Team through MyChart.
      • High-risk patients or those who meet certain criteria may seek monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb). When given in a timely manner, mAb has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of disease and keeping COVID-19-positive patients out of the hospital. Contact your primary care provider for a referral for mAb therapy.

Separate yourself from other people

As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask.

Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.

When can you be around others after being sick with COVID-19?

If You Test Positive for COVID-19:

      • Stay home for 5 days.
      • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
      • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

What to do

      • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
      • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
      • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
      • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
      • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
      • Wear a mask when around other people if able.
      • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Monitor your symptoms

      • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or other symptoms.
      • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

When to seek emergency medical attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.


Call ahead before visiting your doctor

      • Always call ahead. If you’re COVID-19 positive, your medical visit for routine care may be postponed or done by phone or video visit.
      • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

Get Tested

      • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. While waiting for test results, stay away from others, including staying apart from those living in your household.
      • Self-tests are one of several options for testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 and may be more convenient than laboratory-based tests and point-of-care tests. Ask your healthcare provider or your local health department if you need help interpreting your test results.
      • You can visit your state health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing sites. Learn more about testing at Reliant.

If you are sick, wear a mask over your nose and mouth

      • You should wear a mask over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).
      • You don’t need to wear the mask if you are alone. If you can’t put on a mask (because of trouble breathing, for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.
      • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2 years, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is not able to remove the mask without help.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
      • Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.
      • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often

      • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
      • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
      • Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Handwashing Tips

Avoid sharing personal household items

      • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
      • Wash these items thoroughly after using them with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

      • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom; wear disposable gloves. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but you should clean your bedroom and bathroom, if possible.
      • If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and disposable gloves prior to cleaning. They should wait as long as possible after the person who is sick has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.

High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

      • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
      • Use household cleaners and disinfectants. Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.
        1. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. Many also recommend precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
        2. Most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. A full list of disinfectants can be found here.
        3. Complete Disinfection Guidance

If you have any additional questions about your care, please contact your healthcare provider or state or local health department.

Note: The information above has been provided from the CDC website on COVID-19.


Am I eligible to use the Virtual Care Team service?

Are you or the patient 5+ years old?
Are you in Massachusetts at time of video visit?
Do you have a Reliant PCP?
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By continuing I’m giving Reliant permission to communicate with me via text or email to complete this visit.

Am I eligible to use the Virtual Care Team service?

Do you have a MyChart account?