Clinical Care Quick Reference for COVID-19
This quick reference highlights key COVID-19 Clinical Care information for healthcare providers and provides selected links to full guidance and research for easier CDC web navigation.
Caring for Patients
- Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion or rhinorrhea, vomiting or diarrhea, and skin rashes.
- Some patients with COVID-19 may progress to dyspnea and severe disease about one week after symptom onset.
- Clinicians who wish to consider the use of therapeutics, or other available investigational therapies, should review the COVID-19 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Treatment Guidelines.
- For most adults, isolation and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and after resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
- For adults who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test result for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
- Some severely immunocompromised persons with COVID-19 may remain infectious beyond 20 days after their symptoms began and require additional SARS-CoV-2 testing and consultation with infectious diseases specialists and infection control experts.
- Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection requires confirmation of initial infection and virus detection at two distinct time periods with genetic sequencing data that support reinfection.
- A toolkit and criteria have been developed to support state and local health departments investigations of suspected cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection.
People at Increased Risk of Severe Illness
- Adults of any age with any of the underlying medical conditions on CDC’s evidence-based list can be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.
- Older adults are at highest risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put various groups of people at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
- CDC highlights key findings from large cohort studies that examines risk factors and comorbidities associated with COVID-19 deaths.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS)
- Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is a rare but serious complication associated with COVID-19 in which multiple organ systems become inflamed.
- MIS can affect children and adolescents (MIS-C) and adults (MIS-A).
- CDC’s healthcare provider page provides information on clinical presentation, case definition of MIS-C, case report form (CRF), and more resources about MIS-C.
- Post-COVID conditions describe a range of new, returning, or ongoing health issues that persist more than four weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, sometimes after initial symptom recovery.
- Post-COVID conditions can occur in people who had varying degrees of illness during acute infection, including patients who had mild or asymptomatic infections.
- Medical and research communities are still learning about post-acute symptoms and clinical findings.
- The best way to prevent these long-term complications is to prevent COVID-19.
Get more details: Post-COVID Conditions
Caring for Special Populations
- Pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and might be at increased risk for some adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth. CDC provides considerations for healthcare facilities providing obstetric care for pregnant patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- CDC provides information for breastfeeding people and their infants on isolation and quarantine practices, as well as considerations for well-child visits and lactation services.
- For healthcare providers caring for neonates, CDC provides information on diagnosis, evaluation, infection prevention and control practices, and disposition.
- For healthcare providers caring for children, CDC provides information about caring for children with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 during the pandemic.