What to do if you suspect you have COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

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If you test positive for COVID-19 do the following

Click to open COVID-19 Guide
If you have COVID-19
Click to open 'How Long Do I Quarantine?'
quarantine calendar

 Other things you can do if you have COVID-19:

  • Open windows, doors to decrease the concentration of viral particles in the air.
  • Go home and self-isolate in a room by yourself.
  • Preferably use a restroom not shared by others in your household.
  • Drink plenty of water and get rest even if you don’t feel that sick.
  • If you experience chest pain or shortness of breath seek medical care immediately.
  • If anyone in your house needs to call 9-1-1 for any reason, medical or other, disclose to the dispatcher someone in the house has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Inform household members you are positive; NONE are to leave the house to go to work, daycare, etc.

Important: If you have no symptoms or your symptoms have improved, you may still be able to infect others! Please continue to isolate until at least 10 days pass from your symptoms started and at least 24 hours have passed without a fever and other symptoms have improved.

Contact Tracing

Identify the date you started to feel sick, this is your symptom onset date. Go back two days from symptom onset and identify anyone you were within 6 feet of for 15 minutes or more, even if you were wearing a face mask. 


  • Do not leave your house unless you are going to the hospital.
  • Do not go to work or run errands.
  • Do not go into public spaces.
  • Do not have people over to your house.
  • Do not send your children to daycare or school.

Resource Links

Other preventive measures

If you are sick with COVID-19, or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

Stay home except to get medical care

You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Wear a mask or face covering

You should wear a mask or face covering when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not stay in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

Avoid sharing personal household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean your hands often

Wash your hands often 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, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.” This document has a list of products that are effective in killing coronaviruses: https://www.americanchemistry.com/Novel-Coronavirus-Fighting-Products-List.pdf

Monitor your symptoms

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

If you believe you are sick with the 2019 novel coronavirus call your healthcare provider or call the Washoe County Health District’s Communicable Disease Line at (775) 328-2427, this number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Health District staff are conducting in-depth risk assessments with persons who are at high risk and believe they are sick with coronavirus in order to determine if these persons need to be evaluated by a medical provider or if they need to be self-isolating.