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What to do if you think you have COVID-19

Update: In addition to cough, fever and shortness of breath, possible symptoms of COVID-19 have been expanded to also include sore throat, weakness, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of smell or taste, and chills. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please access the free screening questionnaire via MyBSWHealth.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or suspect you may have contracted the virus, follow these guidelines to help protect your household and those around you.

Please note that these guidelines are subject to change. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most up-to-date information.

Take the COVID-19 screening questionnaire

A COVID-19 screening questionnaire is now available from Baylor Scott & White inside MyBSWHealth, which you can access on the web or in the mobile app. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (cough, shortness of breath and feeling feverish), we encourage you to first take the screening questionnaire prior to scheduling an appointment, walking into a clinic or arriving at a hospital emergency department or COVID-19 specimen collection site.

Related: Why COVID-19 testing is not recommended for everyone

Stay home 

  • Isolate yourself: If you are mildly ill with COVID-19, isolate yourself at home during this time if you are able to. Unless you’re seeking medical care, you should restrict all activities outside of your home.  
  • Avoid public areas: Do not attend work, school or any public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: This includes ride-sharing, taxis or any other forms of public transportation.  

Separate yourself from others in your home  

  • Stay away from others: It is smart to stay in a specific room, away from other people in your home. If available, you should also use a separate bathroom.  
  • Manage your symptoms: Most people experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms can recover fully at home.

Wear a face mask if you are sick  

  • If you are sick: A face mask should be worn when you’re around other people — while sharing a room or vehicle — or pets and animals, and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.  
  • If you’re caring for othersIf the person you’re caring for is sick and not able to wear a face mask (it may cause trouble breathing for some), you should wear a face mask when you enter the room they’re in. If there are other people who live with the person who is sick, they should not stay in the same room with them.  

Related: Maintaining hope during COVID-19 social distancing

Cover your coughs and sneezes  

Follow these three critical steps:  

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

Clean your hands often  

  • Wash your hands: Follow the steps above, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food.  
  • Hand sanitizer: Follow the steps above, making sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.  
  • Soap and water: The best option if hands are visibly dirty.  
  • Avoid touching your face: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  

Follow these handwashing tips to make sure you’re cleaning your hands properly.  

Avoid sharing personal, household items  

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

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day  

  • Clean and disinfect: Practice routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.  
  • Disinfect: Disinfect any and all areas or surfaces that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them. Follow this complete disinfection guide
  • Household cleaning products: Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, following the label instructions.

Monitor your symptoms

While you seek the appropriate medical advice, monitor your symptoms and watch for signs of a medical emergency. In adults, these may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

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

For more information about COVID-19, visit BSWHealth.com.

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What to do if you think you have COVID-19