Recovering from COVID-19
Fortunately, many people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. It’s important to self-isolate and follow your doctor’s instructions and CDC guidance for taking care of yourself or loved ones safely at home. If you experience emergency warning signs for COVID-19 (trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face, or any other symptoms that are severe or concerning), call 911 and notify the operator of your COVID-19 symptoms.
If you had COVID-19 or are currently recovering, you might be wondering when and how you can return to your daily life. According to the CDC, you can stop self-isolating at home when you meet ALL THREE of these criteria:
- you have had no fever for at least 24 hours (that is 1 full day of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
- your other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
- at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared*
*If you never experienced symptoms, but still had a positive test, you can stop self-isolating at home when:
- at least 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive test AND
- you continue to have no symptoms (no cough or shortness of breath) since the test
Please note: Even if and when you stop self-isolating, you should still keep a distance of 6 feet from others and wear a cloth face covering when around other people.
Nuvance Health is recruiting volunteers who have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered to enroll in a program to donate their blood plasma. This blood plasma contains antibodies that can be transferred to patients fighting the virus. For more information and to fill out a questionnaire to see if you are eligible to donate, visit the Nuvance website.
Antibody testing, meant to detect antibodies to the novel coronavirus in a person’s body, could help tell if a person had COVID-19, even if they never had symptoms or a positive test.
Some Connecticut sites offer antibody testing. However, the CT Department of Public Health currently urges caution about this technology, because many tests on the market have not been reviewed or approved by the FDA. Reports from the field suggest several tests are not accurate, especially producing false negatives.
In an April 20 primer, the Infectious Disease Society of America cautioned that antibody tests may be better suited for public health surveillance and vaccine development than for diagnosis.
Despite these early challenges, officials are optimistic that broad antibody testing will be available soon. As more information becomes available and antibody tests are studied more closely, health officials will be able to say with more certainty which tests are reliable and how the results can be interpreted.
In the meantime, the National Institutes of Health is recruiting for a national study of healthy volunteers to screen them for COVID-19 antibodies. You can find information here.