Five Important Things to Know and Do When You Have COVID-19
- Your immune system is the best medicine for fighting off this virus. Your immune system is, in fact, the most effective anti-viral treatment around. Help support your immune system by resting, staying well hydrated, eating nourishing foods, and staying connected (safely) to friends and family. For more information on managing your symptoms, refer to Self-Care for Viral Illness.
- Be the last person in the chain of infection. Isolate (stay home) until all COVID-19 symptoms are improving and until 24 hours have elapsed since your last fever (without the use of anti-fever medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen). Fever is defined as any temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Find more information under Isolation Guidelines.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms. Some people have no symptoms while others have a range of symptoms. Most people get better over about one to two weeks. Be aware of potentially serious alarm symptoms and get immediate help if you have questions or concerns. If you need to speak with a triage nurse at University Health Services, call us at 541-346-2770, day or night. Alarm symptoms that should prompt you to call 911 to get immediate medical help include:
- Trouble breathing, feeling very short of breath
- Persistent chest pain or pressure
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
- Inability to stay awake even if you are well rested
- Confusion, not being able to think normally
- Get support! If you need resources and support for your isolation, the Peer Health Navigator Team can help you. Call them at 541-346-2292 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. If you need emotional support, you can access Counseling Services at 541-346-3227.
- During the time you’re sick, it’s best to avoid heavy exercise. Gentle stretching, foam rolling, or low intensity yoga are OK. There is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can cause inflammation in the heart muscle and increase the risk of blood clots. These are rare but potentially dangerous complications. You should monitor yourself for symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, palpitations, or swelling/discoloration in hands and feet.
Five Important Things to Know and Do as you Recover from COVID-19 Isolation
- When your isolation ends, you should still wear a mask around others until a full 10 days have passed from your symptom onset or positive test. (If you’ve had severe symptoms or are severely immunocompromised, extending this period to 20 days is recommended.) You will then be considered no longer infectious.
- Even though you have had COVID-19, new strains of the virus continue to evolve and emerge. Consider additional COVID-19 vaccination as recommended by the CDC. COVID-19 vaccines are available at University Health Services by appointment (call 541-346-2770 or make an online appointment at the myUOHealth portal).
- Some people have lingering symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, mood changes, and body aching after recovery. If this is true for you, give yourself a week or two of rest then, if symptoms persist, schedule an appointment for evaluation. If symptoms are significant or worsening, schedule a medical appointment for evaluation.
- Get support! If you need resources and support, the Peer Health Navigator Team can help you. Call them at 541-346-2292 or send an email to email@example.com for assistance. If you need emotional support, you can access Counseling Services at 541-346-3227.
- Return to exercise gradually. Guidelines for returning to exercise following COVID-19 are based on the duration and severity of your symptoms, any pre-existing medical conditions, your pre-infection fitness, and the planned intensity of your intended post-infection exercise. As a rule, a gradual return to exercise over seven to fourteen days is recommended, monitoring your exercise tolerance as you go. More detailed and specific information on return to exercise is available in our Sports Medicine section.
COVID-19 Cases: Isolation Guidelines
If you tested positive for COVID-19 or are having COVID-19 symptoms, please be a good citizen and follow the guidance below to reduce the possibility of transmitting the infection to others.
All cases, regardless of vaccination status or prior COVID-19 infection, should:
- Isolate (stay home) until all COVID-19 symptoms are improving and until 24 hours have elapsed from last fever (without the use of anti-fever medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen). Fever is defined as any temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Wear a mask when you are around other people until 10 full days have elapsed from the date you tested positive or developed symptoms (whichever date came first).
- Avoid any contact with high-risk individuals (such as people who have underlying health conditions or are immunocompromised) for 10 days.
- If you live in the UO residence halls, the Peer Resource Team will be reaching out to you with specific information about isolating in the residence halls. The UO follows an “isolate-in-place with informed consent” policy, which means most students can isolate in their current room assignment (complying with infection prevention procedures) if they and their roommate(s) consent to that arrangement.
- If you develop severe symptoms or if you are severely immunocompromised, continue to wear a mask and avoid higher-risk people for 20 days from symptom onset or positive test. Talk with your provider for specific information.
- If you are a healthcare worker or work with a more vulnerable population (such as people living in temporary housing, shelters, adult foster homes, detention facilities), there may be more restrictive guidance for returning to in-person work. Please consult with your employer for up-to-date guidance.
Guidance for COVID-19 Close Contacts
Monitoring and Testing Guidelines If You’ve Been Exposed to COVID-19
Most people exposed to COVID-19, (e.g., close contacts) do not need to quarantine (e.g., stay away from other people) during the time they are most likely to become infected. Close contacts, however, should be aware of their potential to become infected and to infect others around them.
If you are a close contact, regardless of vaccination status or prior COVID-19 infection, you should do the following:
- Monitor yourself for viral symptoms for 10 days after your last exposure (with last exposure being Day 0). If you do develop symptoms, test yourself for COVID-19. A single home test does not rule out infection; it’s best to test yourself twice with at least 36 hours between the tests. You’ll want to isolate during this time.
- Avoid unnecessary visits with high-risk individuals, such as people who have underlying health conditions or are immunocompromised.
- If you are sharing a room with someone who has COVID, it is highly recommended you wear a mask at all times when you are around them. Also consider wearing a mask in classrooms and residence halls where you may be around larger groups of people for prolonged periods of time.
- It is highly recommended that you test yourself for COVID-19 five days after last exposure.
- If symptoms develop and/or you have a positive COVID-19 test, follow guidance at the top of this page.