GREEN BAY, Wis.— You just got a notification on your phone from the testing center you went to earlier this week. You tested positive for COVID-19.
The number one thing not to do is panic.
At least, that's what Dylan Valentine of Green Bay says. He is a nurse practitioner at Bellin Hospital.
Actually, what Valentine suggests you do first after getting a positive result is probably what you've heard all along: Immediately begin quarantining in your home. You'll need to quarantine for 10 days after your symptoms started. If you're asymptomatic, quarantine for 10 days from the day you got tested.
Valentine says once you’ve begun isolation, you can begin to treat your symptoms at home.
“Treatment basically involves a lot of rest, good hydration,” he says.
He recommends taking Tylenol to alleviate symptoms. He says you’re essentially treating yourself like you would for a cold and the flu.
The next step: Be ready.
“Isolate and keep your phone by you,” he says. “Someone’s gonna call you.”
That someone will be your doctor’s office, which is why he says not to worry about calling your doctor yourself after learning of the positive test.
He says your doctor will help you manage the virus from there, checking on your symptoms, and guiding you through the process of recovery.
But, if you're not sure if your symptoms are severe enough to go to the hospital, Valentine says that is a good thing to ask your doctor. Go ahead and reach out.
“Please call and ask, ‘Is there a way I can be seen in a respiratory clinic or should I go to the emergency room?’ Then you’ll be evaluated in person, possibly get some imaging— chest x-ray, maybe some labs. And then from there, they will determine if you need hospitalization or not,” he says.
Contracting the coronavirus can be tough mentally, but Valentine wants to remind those who are infected to hang on to hope. There are better days ahead.
“Hang tight. We’re in it together. Social Distance. Wear your masks,” he says. “There are good things on the horizon in the scientific and medical community and in terms of vaccines and treatments.”