I think I have COVID-19, what now?

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase, questions arise around what to do when you think you have been exposed to COVID-19.

If you suspect you have been infected or were in direct contact with someone who has been confirmed positive, you should be aware of some typical symptoms of COVID-19:
A fever above 38.5°, dry cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of taste or smell.

Here are some practical guidelines to follow if you suspect you have contracted COVID-19, but have not been tested:  

  • The golden rule is to stay home, quarantine for 10-days and to limit contact with others.
  • If no symptoms present during this period, quarantine can be broken once the 10-days have been completed. However, if any symptoms present during this period, it is important to manage it and to know when a visit to the doctor is necessary.
  • If worrisome symptoms present, specifically relating to respiratory complications, please seek immediate medical attention or call an ambulance.
  • For those seeking medical intervention to address mild symptoms, the individual can telephonically contact the healthcare facility for a virtual consultation. Alternatively, the doctor can request an in-person assessment.

When going for an in-person consultation, please be mindful of the following:

  • When leaving your residence, please wear a mask at all times, carry a small hand sanitiser, avoid contact with commonly touched surfaces and keep a safe distance from others.
  • Please take a pen in order to complete the paperwork at the healthcare facility.
  • Upon arrival at the facility, there will be a COVID-19 screening point, normally located outside the facility’s entrance. State the purpose of your visit upfront.
  • Once your temperature has been taken and you have completed the registry, you will be directed to the designated waiting area.
  • You will be called into the doctor’s consultation room, and upon completion of the consultation, and depending on the severity of your symptoms, the doctor will either prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms or you will be referred to a COVID-19 testing facility.
  • In the event of needing to go for a test, please visit the designated facility with haste and return to your residence immediately once testing is completed.
  • Continue to stay in quarantine until you have received an SMS notification about your test result.
  • If the result comes back negative, please de-quarantine after 10 days. And if the result is positive, please read I have tested positive, what now.

For a guide to manage mild COVID-19 at home, click here.

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to play their part to curb the spread of COVID-19. This includes practicing good hand hygiene, wearing a mask, coughing and sneezing into the fold of one’s elbow or tissue (immediately discarding into a dedicated bin after use) and not sharing personal items (including mobile devices, cutlery, drinking glasses and vape mouthpieces). Additional measures include maintaining a distance of at least 1.5m from others, cleaning commonly touched surfaces regularly, keeping social gatherings small and meeting outdoors or in well-ventilated areas.

For more COVID-19 information, visit https://www.nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-index/covid-19/ or contact the hotline on 0800 029 999. For find out more about the new SARS-CoV02 lineage discovery, visit https://www.nicd.ac.za/new-variant-of-sars-cov-2-frequently-asked-questions/.

And for those seeking workplace information, contact the National Institute for Occupational Health on 0800 212 175 or email at info@nioh.ac.za. 

 

Diseases A-Z Index

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