Patient Instructions

Coronaviruses are common throughout the world and cause illness like the common cold. In 2019, a new version of Coronavirus started spreading throughout the world. The symptoms of this new virus include cough, fever, and shortness of breath, and are very similar to other viruses such as Influenza (the Flu). Symptoms begin 2 - 14 days after coming into contact with another sick person. Most people will get over the infection easily, but a small number of people will have severe symptoms, including pneumonia (lung infection). Severe illness is more likely to happen in older people, as well as people with other health problems.

Home Care

  • Please stay at home except to received medical care. Do not go to work or public areas, and avoid using public transportation
  • Even if you don’t have symptoms, such as a cough, you should wear a mask until you are released from home isolation—you can still spread the virus to others.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that you touch and keep others from touching those surfaces.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand rub (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Drink plenty of fluids and rest.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your cough or sneeze with tissue and throw it in the trash. Wash your hands afterwards.

When to Get Help

Here are some of the reasons you should see a medical provider sooner:

If you are having difficulty breathing, blue color around your lips or mouth, or are very weak and unable to stand, this is a medical emergency. Call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Work Release

Your employer should accept the standard work release form provided at your COVID-19 testing. If your employer will not accept this form, we recommend that you make an in-person or Telehealth appointment with your primary care provider for a more comprehensive exam and appropriate follow-up care.

COVID-19 Testing

Your medical provider makes the decision to perform testing based on current rules, or guidelines, that are made by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as state and local health departments. Even if you were not tested today, please remember that you still have an illness that can spread to other people. Staying at home and avoiding all contact with other people is the best way to do this. Most insurance covers COVID-19 testing. Please contact your health insurance provider with questions.

If You Were Tested Today

Your sample will be sent to the lab and processed as soon as possible. We know it is important to get your results as soon as possible. Over 90% of COVID-19 test results are available within 48 hours from when you had your specimen collected. If you are having a COVID-19 test for an upcoming surgery or procedure, you must get your COVID-19 test 3 days (72 hours) in advance of when the procedure is scheduled. We recommend checking My Health+ to access your test results 1 to 2 days after your test, and then continuing to check until your result is available.

If the test is positive, you have COVID-19. You will be contacted by the Intermountain COVID-19 Remote Patient Monitoring team and instructed to remain on home isolation, in accordance with CDC guidelines, until notified when you can discontinue home isolation. You may also be contacted by the Utah Department of Health to assess if any of your close contacts may have been exposed to the virus. If your symptoms get worse, contact the COVID-19 Hotline 844-442-5224. If you are told to go to the Emergency Room, please call ahead or notify the 9-1-1 dispatcher that you have COVID-19.

If the test is negative, you likely do not have COVID-19 at this time, but you still may have a different illness that can spread to other people (like Influenza, or the Flu) and could still be at risk for getting COVID-19. We still ask that you stay away from other people to limit the spread of illness.

It is possible that you do not have COVID-19. Even if you were not tested today, please remember that you still have an illness that can spread to other people. Staying at home and avoiding all contact with other people is the best way to do this.

Medicines

Acetaminophen (Tylenol® and others) is generally safe. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) or Naproxen (Aleve®) can also be used. Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines can be used according to the instructions on the package. Some over-the-counter medicines also contain acetaminophen. Make sure you are not taking more than your recommended dose. If you are unsure, call the COVID-19 Hotline 844-442-5224. For those not hospitalized, there is no specific treatment available for this illness. Antibiotics do not treat Coronaviruses.

Follow-Up

If you haven’t received follow-up and your symptoms have worsened, please contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 844-442-5224. Your provider will advise you on how to treat symptoms. If you are having difficulty breathing, blue color around your lips or mouth, or are very weak and unable to stand, this is a medical emergency. Call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room immediately.