Home Care for Someone Who Has COVID-19 

Things to know 

Most people who get COVID-19 will recover with time and home care. Here are some things to know if you're caring for someone who's sick. 

Patients with COVID-19 who are treated with medications for underlying medical conditions should not discontinue these medications during acute management of COVID-19 illness unless directed by a health care provider. 

Common symptoms include fever, coughing and feeling short of breath. Urge the person to get extra rest and drink plenty of fluids to replace fluids lost from fever. 

To reduce a fever, offer Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol). It may also help with muscle aches. Read and follow all instructions on the label. 

Watch for signs that the illness is getting worse 

The person may need medical care if they're getting sicker (for example, if it's hard to breathe). But call your doctor's office before you go. They can tell you what to do. 

Consider contacting your primary care provider for a phone or virtual visit 

If you would like a phone or virtual visit during this time, please contact your primary care provider’s office or, if you're a St. Charles patient, visit our virtual visits page.

Call 911 or emergency services if the person has any of these symptoms: 

  • Severe trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Constant pain or pressure in their chest
  • Confusion or trouble thinking clearly 
  • A blue tint to their lips or face

Treatment may be available for people at high risk 

There are treatments available to people who are more likely to get very sick and need medical care. Contact your primary care provider, or submit this referral form if you have any of these conditions to see if you are eligible for monoclonal antibody or antiviral treatment. 

  • Older than 65 years old 
  • Cancer 
  • Cerebrovascular disease (e.g., history of stroke or TIA) 
  • Chronic kidney disease 
  • Chronic lung disease (e.g., COPD, cystic fibrosis, moderate-severe asthma, pulmonary hypertension) 
  • Dementia 
  • Diabetes 
  • Down syndrome 
  • Heart disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, heart failure) 
  • HIV infection 
  • Liver disease (especially cirrhosis) 
  • Mental health disorders (e.g., depression, schizophrenia) 
  • Overweight (BMI from 25 to 30) or obesity (BMI of 30 or higher) 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Sickle cell disease 
  • Smoking 
  • Solid organ transplant 
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease 
  • Substance use disorder (e.g., alcohol, opioids) 
  • Weak immune system 

Protect yourself and others 

The virus spreads easily from person to person, so take extra care to avoid catching or spreading the infection. 

  • Stay home a minimum of 10 days: Home isolation is needed for at least 10 days after the symptoms started. Stay home from school or work if you are sick. Do not go to religious services, childcare centers, shopping or other public places. Do not use public transportation (e.g., bus, taxis, ride-sharing). Do not allow any visitors to your home. Leave the house only if you need to seek urgent medical care. 
  • Ending home isolation: You can end home isolation when
    • Fever is gone for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medicines AND 
    • Cough and other symptoms are improved AND 
    • Symptoms started more than 10 days ago. 
  • If you are unsure if it is safe for you to leave isolation, check the CDC website or call your doctor's office. 
  • Keep the sick person away from others as much as you can. 
    • Have the person stay in one room. If you can, give them their own bathroom to use.
    • Have only one person take care of them. Keep other people—and pets—out of the sickroom. 
    • Have the person wear a mask around other people. This includes when anyone is in the room with them or if they leave their room (for example, to go to the bathroom). 
  • Don't share personal items. These include dishes, cups, towels and bedding. 
  • Wash your hands often and well. Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after you've been around the sick person or touched things they've touched. If soap and water aren't handy, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes. 
  • Take care with the person's laundry. It's okay to wash the sick person's laundry with yours. If you have them, wear disposable gloves when handling their dirty laundry, and wash your hands well after you touch it. Wash items in the warmest water allowed for the fabric type and dry them completely. 
  • Clean high-touch items every day and anytime the sick person touches them. These include doorknobs, light switches, toilets, counters and remote controls. Use a household disinfectant or a homemade bleach solution. (Follow the directions on the label.) If the sick person has their own room, have them disinfect it every day. 
  • Limit visitors to your home. To help protect family and friends, stay in touch with them only by phone or computer. 

Treatment Options for High Risk COVID-19 Patients

There are several different types of potential treatments for people who are at higher risk of serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. 

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment: Bebtelovimab

Download Bebtelovimab EUA Fact Sheet

Antiviral Treatment: Paxlovid

Download Paxlovid EUA Fact Sheet

Preexposure Prophylaxis Treatment: Evusheld

Learn more and place order for Evusheld

Minimum criteria (must meet all)

  • > 14 years of age (at least 40 Kg)  
  • Positive PCR or Antigen direct SARS-CoV-2 viral test result (home test not accepted)
  • Within seven (7) days of symptom onset  
  • Not severely ill or hospitalized

High priority patients

  • Age >= 65
  • Age >= 75
  • Pregnant
  • Vaccine status
    • Unvaccinated or incomplete primary COVID-19 vaccine series
    • Full primary vaccine series received but no booster despite being eligible
    • Severe immunocompromising condition or therapy
    • At least one other high-risk comorbidity as defined below:

Other High-Risk Comorbidities

  • Body mass index ≥ 35   
  • Chronic kidney disease    
  • Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and 2:  A1C ≥ 8.0% or insulin-dependent 
  • Cerebrovascular disease 
    • Stroke 
  • Cardiovascular disease  
    • HF or CAD or cardiomyopathy or congenital or acquired heart disease    
  • Pulmonary diseases
    • COPD  
    • ILD 
    • PE
    • PH 
    • Bronchiectasis 
    • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia  
  • Hepatic chronic diseases 
    • Cirrhosis
    • NAFLD
    • Alcoholic liver disease
    • Autoimmune hepatitis   
  • Schizophrenia