COVID-19: When You Are Sick

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People who get COVID-19 can avoid serious symptoms and a trip to the hospital by following these steps to stop the spread and get necessary treatment.

If you think you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, but you have not tested positive yet, use our COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Guidance Tool to see what steps you need to take now.


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1. Get Tested

Get tested as soon as you have COVID-19 symptoms, if you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, recently traveled and before and after gatherings.


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2. Isolate Immediately

Isolate right away if you have symptoms or test positive. Go home and separate from others. Even if you do not have symptoms, do everything you can to not spread the virus to others:


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3. Talk to a Provider

Talk to a health care provider after you test positive so they can evaluate you for treatment options. If you do not have a provider, call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).


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4. Get Treated

Treatment for COVID-19 is available for people 12 and older who test positive for COVID-19. Only a health care provider can prescribe treatment. If your provider decides treatment can help you, they may prescribe a daily pill (taken for five days) or a one-time IV or injection. These treatments can lessen symptoms and help keep you out of the hospital. The daily pills are free and can be delivered to your home within 24 hours.

If you test positive, call your health care provider to ask about treatment options. If you do not have a health care provider, call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).

To find a pharmacy near you that has COVID-19 treatments, including locations where you can get tested and a prescription in one visit, see the COVID-19 Treatments Locator.


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5. Take Care of Yourself

Even if you do not feel symptoms, rest. Take your temperature regularly and be alert to changes in symptoms. If you have any medical emergencies, such as trouble breathing, call 911 or go to a hospital.


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6. Take Care of Others

You can take steps to prevent infecting people around you.


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7. Leave Isolation

You can leave isolation if after five days you do not have any symptoms, or if your symptoms have improved and you have not had a fever for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine. Keep wearing a mask indoors until it has been 10 days since your symptoms began (or you tested positive).

  • If your employer asks for proof you needed to isolate in order to provide sick leave, complete the below form. For more information on COVID-19 sick leave policies, call 855-491-2667.
  • New York State Affirmation of Isolation (PDF)

“Long COVID”

Most people who have COVID-19 completely recover, but some have lasting symptoms and health problems.

Post-COVID-19 conditions, also referred to as long COVID or chronic COVID, refers to a wide range of symptoms that develop during or after COVID-19 illness and continue for several weeks or months.

Symptoms can include fatigue, breathing problems, muscle pain and trouble focusing or remembering tasks.

Learn more about post-COVID-19 aftercare at the Resource Center for Long COVID.

If you think you have long COVID, talk to your provider or visit a Post-COVID Care Clinic:


Additional Resources