What to Do If You Are Sick

If you are infected with Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or think you have been exposed, it is important to limit spread to others in your home and in the community.  

Here are some steps to take to reduce the spread of the virus: 

Self Quarantine 

You should stay home and limit travel to public places unless it is absolutely necessary. You should restrict all activities outside your home, except for seeking medical care. 

Do not go to work, school, grocery stores or other public areas. If you must go out, avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. When seeking medical care, call ahead so proper quarantine precautions can be in place.

Separate Yourself

It is important that you separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. You should stay in an isolated room separate from other people in your home so that you do not infect others. You should avoid sharing bathrooms or common spaces too. If you have animals or any pets, you need to restrict contact as well while you are sick with COVID-19, the same way you would around other people. The situation is still unfolding and it is not clear at this time if pets or other animals can become sick too with COVID-19.

It is therefore recommended that people who are sick with COVID-19 limit their contact with any pets or animals until more information is known about this virus. Avoid close contact activities with your pets like snuggling, petting, being licked or even sharing food if you are sick with COVID-19. When you are sick with COVID-19, let another member of your household take care of your pets or animals for you. When you are sick with COVID-19, the same precautions including washing your hands and wearing a mask apply as well when you have to be around animals and pets. 

Call Ahead

If you need to seek medical care, call ahead before visiting your doctor or a medical facility so they can adequately prepare. Call the healthcare provider to alert them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Mask Up

You should wear a face mask when you are around other people or going out in public, even if you do not have symptoms. It is possible to have the virus and not have any symptoms. 


When you need you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and immediately throw used tissues in a closed trash can. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least  60 to 95% alcohol). If your hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water and avoid alcohol rubs. 


Wash Wash Wash. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Don’t Share

Sharing is not caring in this situation. Avoid sharing personal household items, such as 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 hot water.


Clean and wipe down all high contact areas everyday. High contact areas include phones, keyboards, tablets, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, and bedside tables. Any surfaces that are exposed to body fluids (blood, stool, other fluids) need to be sanitized as well. Wipe down these surfaces using a household disinfecting cleaner or wipe, following the package directions.  


Self monitor for fevers or trouble breathing or other worsening symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention for worsening symptoms. Be sure to call before presenting to a medical facility so they can be prepared to treat you and protect others in the waiting room from being exposed. If you cannot get to a facility on your own or are too sick, call 911 and alert the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19. If you have a face mask, place this on before going into a medical facility or before emergency personnel arrive at your house.

Discontinuing Isolation

The decision to discontinue home isolation is a one that should be made in conjunction with your healthcare providers as well as state and local health departments. If you are infected with COVID-19 and under isolation, you need to remain quarantined until your risk of spreading the disease is low. This decision will be made by your medical team based on your health status and available clinical information. Persons with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. 

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. For more and emerging information, please visit these sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

World Health Organization

Government of Canada
Coronavirus Menu