It’s very important that you stay at home (self-isolate) if:
- you have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (COVID-19)
- you’ve had a positive test result
- someone you live with has symptoms but has not yet been tested or received their test result
There are a few things you can do to take care of yourself at home. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.
Treating a fever at home
It’s safe to treat most fevers at home. However, you may be at risk of becoming dehydrated.
wear loose, comfortable clothing – don’t try to make yourself too cold
drink more fluids – you should be peeing (approximately) every 6 hours
monitor your pee colour – a pale yellow colour means you’re unlikely to be dehydrated, while darker pee means you should drink more water
take paracetamol if you have a temperature – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
keep your room at a comfortable temperature
make sure fresh air is circulating
Phone 111 if:
- you’re severely thirsty and peeing less
- you feel lightheaded or weak
- you have new, severe muscle cramps
You should also phone 111 if your symptoms worsen or if you notice new symptoms.
Treating a cough at home
It’s also safe to treat most coughs at home.
take pain medication such as paracetamol – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
drink enough fluids to keep you hydrated – this is particularly important if you’ve just woken up
drink warm drinks as they have a soothing effect
To reduce the spread to others you should:
- cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- wash your hands regularly
- dispose of tissues appropriately
- sneeze into the crook of your elbow if you don’t have a tissue
Phone 111 if:
- you’re coughing up blood
- you have chest pain
- you have shortness of breath that’s new or worsening
Testing for coronavirus
Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should be tested. You can book a test for:
- someone you care for
- a child in your care
How to access testing
Hospital discharge information
If you’ve been treated in hospital with symptoms of coronavirus, a clinical assessment will determine if you can complete your recovery at home.
When you get it home it’s essential to practise household isolation.
Adults managing symptoms at home
You should follow our self-care advice to manage any symptoms you may still have at home.
What if I get worse when I get home?
Most people with coronavirus will gradually get better at home and make a full recovery. However, if your symptoms get worse at home you should phone 111 and tell them you have coronavirus. You should do this particularly if:
- breathlessness develops or worsens
- you have severe thirst and are peeing less than normal
- you feel lightheaded or become very weak
- you develop new or severe muscle cramps
- your symptoms haven’t improved in 7 days
If you have a cough, this can last longer than 7 days. If you have no other symptoms you don’t need to seek extra help.
Postnatal managing symptoms at home
If you’ve just had a baby but also have coronavirus and have been admitted to hospital, you should follow the advice above.
If there’s a medical emergency and you need to phone 111 or 999, inform the call handler that you’ve just had a baby.
It’s very unlikely that you will have passed coronavirus on to your child.
Read our pregnancy and newborn babies advice for more information.
Managing your child’s symptoms at home
If your child has been in hospital with symptoms of coronavirus, you should follow our self-care advice to manage any symptoms your child may still have at home.
What if my child’s symptoms get worse at home?
Most children and babies with coronavirus will gradually get better at home and make a full recovery. However, if you’re worried about your child or baby you should phone 111 and tell them your child or baby has coronavirus. You should do this particularly if:
- they start breathing very fast
- they’re very thirsty and peeing less than normal
- they’re not feeding or eating (children younger than 5)
- they keep vomiting
- they start to get a very high temperature again
- their symptoms haven’t improved in 7 days
If your child or baby has a cough, this can last longer than 7 days. If they have no other symptoms you don’t need to seek extra help.
If they’re very unwell and seem to be getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, phone 999.