People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Use the CDC online tool to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.
Additionally, when you download the COVID Alert PA app, you can input how you are feeling each day and report if you are experiencing symptoms. This will help if you later test positive for COVID-19 and are asked when asked when your symptoms started.
Get tested. Contact your healthcare provider or find a testing site in Pennsylvania. If you do not want to get tested, it's still important to stay home, isolate and avoid contact with others, rest, and drink fluids.
If you test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, take the following steps to protect others regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status:
for at least 5 days. You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are
fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication
and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may
persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of
isolation). Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. You can also use a test-based strategy to end isolation.
- Wear a well-fitting mask
around others at home and in public for 5 additional days after the end
of your 5-day isolation period. Take additional precautions on days
6-10, such as avoiding travel and situations where you will come in
contact with individuals at high risk for severe disease. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for 10 days.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for isolation.
- Most people who have mild symptoms can recover at home without medical care. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you are more
likely to get very sick because of being an older adult or having underlying medical conditions or if your symptoms get worse.
For non-health care personnel (This guidance does NOT apply to healthcare settings, non-healthcare congregate settings, or persons at higher risk for severe disease):
- Regardless of vaccination status, persons who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 5 days. If after 5 days, the patient is asymptomatic or has resolving symptoms, their isolation period is over; however, they should still wear a mask around others until day 10.
- Persons who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have received a booster vaccine or are within 6 months of receiving their primary vaccine series should wear a mask around others for 10 days, but do not need to quarantine.
- Persons who are unvaccinated or who are eligible (i.e., more than 6 months after primary vaccine series) but have not yet received a booster vaccine must quarantine at home for 5 days, and then wear a mask around others until Day 10.
- All exposed persons regardless of vaccination should test on Day 5 if possible.
No. At-home tests are not reported to DOH.
If you test positive on an at-home test, you should isolate for at least 5 days. You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days. You should also tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. If your illness becomes severe, seek medical attention. View more information about quarantine and isolation.
While at-home test results may not be included in the department's data, there is an abundance of other PCR and antigen test results being reported from traditional testing channels daily, therefore DOH has a large sample to maintain reporting COVID-19 incidence rates and trends on our COVID-19 dashboard.