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A sick man wears a mask at home.

Feeling sick? Staying home may be safer

Note: This article was last updated in September 2020. For the latest updates on COVID-19, see

If you’re experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness and are concerned about COVID-19, you should talk to your doctor about the best way to proceed. If they ask you to stay home and monitor your symptoms, you should follow their recommendations. 

What should you do at home?

Always adhere to your physician's guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has tips for staying home and keeping your family safe. Here’s what to do:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home (known as home isolation).
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Wear a facemask when you’re around other people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal items.
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces daily.
  • Monitor your symptoms.

Who should not stay home?

Your healthcare provider is your best resource for information. If they advise you to seek further treatment, do it.

People experiencing emergency symptoms (including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face) should always seek immediate medical treatment. 

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