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Coronavirus (COVID-19): check here for visitor policy, what to do if you're sick, and more.

Do you have symptoms?

The CDC's self-checker can help determine your COVID-19 risk.

Go To Symptom Checker
symptom checklist covid19_735x415

What to do if you're sick

If you're sick and think you might have COVID-19 symptoms, our providers will guide you through next steps depending on your situation.

According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and include:

  • Fever or
  • Cough or
  • Shortness of breath

What should you do if you think you have symptoms?

Call  your healthcare provider if you have a fever and respiratory symptoms and are concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19. As always, if you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 911 and seek emergency care.


As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Baystate Health is increasing its use of telehealth video visits. These visits allow you to stay in the safety and comfort of your home, while providing a real-time connection (similar to FaceTime or Skype) with your healthcare provider on a mobile device, phone or computer.

When should you call your provider?

For your safety and the safety of the community, Baystate Health is asking patients to call their provider if:

  • You have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath
  • You have had contact with someone who possibly has COVID-19

Medical staff can help to make decisions about whether, when, and where you should be evaluated. This will avoid spreading the virus further to people in waiting rooms and other areas at these locations.

If you have a fever and a cough, will you be tested for COVID-19?

Not necessarily. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate level of testing. Tests used at Baystate Health do not detect COVID-19. Testing to detect this virus is only performed at the CDC and recently the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has also received approval to perform the tests. If a test at Baystate shows a patient has coronavirus, it means that patient has a common coronavirus and does not have COVID-19.

How will you be cared for if you test positive for COVID-19, and what is the treatment?

We know that most patients who test positive will not require hospitalization. We also know that, so far, the COVID-19 virus has had minimal impact on the health of children.

However, patients who do need inpatient care will receive care in isolation once admitted to a hospital. Multiple areas within Baystate Health have been identified to safely house COVID-19 patients, providing appropriate isolation to help prevent spread of the virus.

Through investments in preparedness, Baystate Health has specialized equipment already on hand. We are in close communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and are following their guidance on preparing for management of this illness.

There is no vaccine, as of yet, to protect against COVID-19. Some antiviral medications are in the process of testing to see if they can address some of the symptoms.

Should you wear a facemask?

The CDC only recommends facemasks for people who have symptoms of COVID-19, not for people who are healthy. Healthcare workers and anyone taking care of someone with COVID-19 should wear facemasks.

Learn more about preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Home remedies for upper respiratory symptoms

  1. Take pain and fever medications.
  2. (Caution: do not give aspirin to children and be aware of allergies to medicines)

    For adults: Ibuprofen 600mg every 6 hours / Not to exceed 3200mg/24 hours Take with food if possible
    Acetaminophen 1000mg every 4 hours/ Not to exceed 4000mg/24 hours

    For children: Ask your provider for dosing.

  3. Get plenty of rest.

  4. Use a clean humidifier, cool mist vaporizer, or saline nose drops to relieve a stuffy nose.

  5. Take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.

  6. Drink plenty of liquids.

  7. Stay home and rest.

If you're concerned about your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

When to seek medical care

As always, if you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 911 and seek emergency care.

If you're sick and think you might have COVID-19 symptoms, or any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider:

  • Temperature of 102°F or higher
  • Fever that lasts longer than 4 days
  • Cough with bloody mucus
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Difficulty breathing or fast breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days without improvement

Prevent the spread of your illness

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home and rest.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Learn more about protecting yourself and others.

When someone in your house is sick

The CDC recommends the following actions if someone in your house is sick:

  • Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for sick person (if possible)
  • If shared bathroom: Clean and disinfect after each use by the sick person. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Stay separated for meals: The sick person should eat (or be fed) in their room if possible.
  • Wash dishes and utensils using gloves and hot water: Handle any non-disposable used food service items with gloves and wash with hot water or in a dishwasher.
  • Clean hands after handling used food service items.
  • Use a dedicated, lined trashcan: If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the sick person. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.

Learn more on the CDC website.