As of 3/2021
- Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
- The most common initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, and dry cough. However, nasal congestion, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes), diarrhea (present in children more than adults), muscle or joint pain, chills or dizziness, and decreased or inability to smell or taste can also be present. Refer to this guide from the CDC on most commonly reported symptoms: Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Here is a video explaining the most common symptoms of COVID-19 in American Sign Language: (ASL) Symptoms Video | Covid-19.
Severe symptoms can include: shortness of breath, loss of appetite, confusion, chest pain/pressure, and high fever (above 38 °C/ 100.4 °F)
- Symptoms start out mild and worsen gradually. Symptoms can progress from mild to requiring hospital admission in a span of 5-10 days.
- Young individuals can be infected with the virus, but often remain asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, making them a vector that can spread the infection to those around them.
- Among those who develop symptoms, most (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. About 15% become seriously ill and require oxygen and 5% become critically ill and need intensive care.
Long term effects of COVID can include fatigue, respiratory, cardiac, and neurological symptoms.
- The populations that are most vulnerable are individuals over 60, immunocompromised individuals, and those with pre-existing medical conditions including, but not limited to chronic lung disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. These populations are also at the highest risk of presenting with more advanced symptoms and progressing to more severe disease.
- According to the WHO, recovery time appears to be around two weeks for mild infections and three to six weeks for severe disease
- According to the CDC, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) is a possible complication experienced in COVID-19 infected children. Refer to this CDC guide for parents listing symptoms and care recommendations.
What to do if you’re symptomatic:
- Even if you don’t feel sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others.
- Contact your healthcare provider
- If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
- If not experiencing severe symptoms:
- Stay Home– do not leave except to get medical care. Most people are able to recover at home.
- Separate yourselves away from other people if at all possible.
- Monitor your symptoms. Get rest and stay hydrated.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call ahead before seeking medical care. If you have trouble breathing or any other emergency signs seek out emergency medical attention.
- Inform your close contacts that you have symptoms/have tested positive so they can get tested.
- Stay Home– do not leave except to get medical care. Most people are able to recover at home.
- To help determine when to seek medical care you can use the Coronavirus Self-Checker through the CDC: Self-Checker Tool
When can I leave isolation after having symptoms or testing positive?
- According to the CDC, if you had symptoms you can be around others after:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*
- *Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation
- If you tested positive for COVID, but have had no symptoms:
- You can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19.
As of 12/2020
Who Should Get Tested?
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
People who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
- People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot socially distance as needed, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings.
People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.
When To Get Tested?
If you’re asymptomatic wait 5-7 days to be tested following exposure. If you get tested too soon your results may be inaccurate.
While waiting to get tested, quarantine at home and stay away from others.
What Happens If I Test Positive for COVID-19?
- Follow all instructions from your healthcare provider. You will be asked to self-quarantine for at least 10 days.
- Monitor your symptoms and seek out emergency medical care if you have any of the emergency warning signs: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face
- If you meet all of the below requirements, you may be eligible to have food, prescription medications, and other essentials delivered to you during self-quarantine (call 1-888-349-8323 or visit http://gethelp.dc.gov/ for more information and submit a request for help):
- You or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19, been directed by a healthcare provider to quarantine, or is showing symptoms of COVID-19
- No members of your household can go out and get food, hygiene, or pediatric products
- No neighbors or family members can go out and get food, hygiene, or pediatric products for you
- You do not receive assistance procuring food, hygiene, or pediatric products from other providers
- You do not have access to necessary prescription medication
Types of COVID-19 Tests
- Viral Test (PCR test/Rapid Tests)- tests for current COVID-19 infection
- Rapid tests are cheaper and faster, but can be less accurate and are therefore not the gold standard for ruling out COVID-19 infection
- Antibody Test (Serologic Tests)- tests for previous COVID-19 infection, and should not be used to diagnose a current infection
Public Testing Sites
Anacostia: For an appointment, call (855) 363-0333
UDC-CC Bertie Backus Campus: For an appointment, call (855) 363-0333
Judiciary Square, F Street NW (between 4th and 5th St. NW): Walk-up only, no appointment required M-F 10 am to 2 pm
GWU MFA Patients
Starting April 6, 2020 Drive-thru COVID-19 testing will begin. If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please call their MFA office (202.741.3000) (8:00 am to 4:30 pm – Monday to Friday) prior to visiting in order to obtain a testing order. If calling after hours, please call the GW Hospital Emergency Department at 202.715.4000). Don’t visit the emergency department unless your symptoms become severe. For more information on how to obtain a drive-thru testing order please go to www.gwcovid19testing.com.
Last day of testing is June 11, 2020. There will be no further testing at the GW Site.
MedStar Health Patients
If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please call ahead or use their telehealth application which can be accessed via the MedStar eVisit app or at MedStarhealth.org/eVisit. e-Visits are accessible to ALL residents of the District of Columbia, and a physician referral for COVID-19 testing at one of MedStar Health’s testing sites may be provided based on outcomes.
Howard University Patients
Howard University is offering testing for patients, particularly residents of Wards 7 and 8. Patients do not need to have risk factors or symptoms. To make an appointment, call 202-865-2119 and press 3. A prescription for testing is not necessary.
Kaiser Permanente Patients
If you have a respiratory illness or flu symptoms or were exposed to someone at risk for coronavirus infection, schedule a video or telephone visit. Visit kp.org/getcare or call 1-800-777-7904 to talk to an advice nurse 24/7 or call 1-202-346-3000 for an appointment at 700 2nd St. NE.
United Medical Care Patients
If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, contact your healthcare provider by phone (202-574-6909) before coming to a clinic or hospital.
One Medical Patients
For existing members: If you are concerned about symptoms, open up the One Medical app and tap “COVID-19 Symptoms?” to let us know what you’re feeling. A medical team will get back to you with how to proceed, and if you require COVID-19 testing.
For non-members: One Medical is offering testing and free virtual care for 30 days to anyone with COVID-19 concerns -including front-line responders and essential workers. Call 1-888-ONE-MED1 to get started with a free trial membership.
For more information, please visit: https://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/covid-19-testing-one-medical
If you are concerned about your child having symptoms or having been exposed, please call your child’s pediatrician. More information can be found at: https://childrensnational.org/visit/resources-for-families/wellness-resources/coronavirus
For Those with Barriers to Healthcare Access
For those underinsured, lacking in resources, or have other barriers to care, Bread for the City is offering free testing (see below details), with no referral, insurance, or payment required. For more information please contact Bread for the City Medical Clinic at 202-386-7020 or visit the website at www.breadforthecity.org
Additionally, One Medical is offering testing and free virtual care for 30 days for patients with COVID-19 concerns. Please see above under “One Medical Patients.”
For Undocumented Families
Seek testing if indicated (above), whether or not you plan to apply for documentation in the future! COVID-19 testing and coverage is public charge exempt. Read more https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge
For Further Testing Options
All Care Family Medicine and Urgent Care: For an appointment, call (202) 787-1979
Mary’s Center: For an appointment, call (844) 796-2797
Unity Health Care: For an appointment, call (202) 745-7000
Bread for the City: For an appointment, call (202) 265-2400
Sibley Memorial Hospital: For an appointment, call (443) 997-9537
Find a COVID-19 testing site near you:
Access this link published by the government of D.C. and Mayor Muriel Bowser which provides a constantly updated comprehensive list of free public testing sites, DC Firehouses participating in testing, and providers offering testing. Information on how to contact and access these testing centers is also listed.
Register before going on : coronavirus.dc.gov/register
D.C. Main Testing Sites Overview
As of Sunday, June 14, 2020: Testing is no longer available at the GW MFA Site.
As of Sunday, June 7, 2020: GW MFA Urgent Care/Primary Care locations are offering tests at the following times and locations:
- Cleveland Park: 10:00am- 3:00pm
- Rhode Island Avenue: 11:00am- 7:00pm
- McPherson Square: 10:00am- 4:00pm
These testing sites are walk-in only (no appointments required) and do not require a physician referral.
*Site-specific schedules are subject to change. For the most up to date information on posted testing times at the Cleveland Park, Rhode Island Ave, and Mcpherson Square locations, please visit www.gwdocsipc.com.
*These testing sites do not accept Kaiser or out of state Medicaid.
Children’s National is no longer offering drive through/walk up testing.
A list of testing sites for children in the DMV area can be found here: Referring a Patient for COVID-19 Drive Up/ Walk Up Specimen Collection Specifically, this PDF provides a list of site-specific information for pediatric COVID-19 testing in the District of Columbia: District of Columbia Care Facilities for Testing of COVID-19
Kaiser has DC, MD, and VA walk/drive through testing services only after Kaiser patients presenting with symptoms call in advance and meet guidelines for testing. More information for Kaiser patients can be found at: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/maryland-virginia-washington-dc/health-wellness/coronavirus-information
One Medical is providing testing for their patients and non-members in DC Georgetown (Washington International School). For more information, please see: https://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/covid-19-testing-one-medical
Bread for the City
Bread for the City has walk-up testing services open to those with barriers to healthcare access (uninsured, underinsured) with no referral required. For more information about their COVID-19 testing and other medical services, you can call 202-386-7020.
Clinic location: Bread for the City, Northwest Center, 1525 7th St NW (Near Shaw/Howard metro stop)
Clinic hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 pm-3 pm.
Howard University Faculty Practice Plan will host testing at the new Benning Road Center, located at 4414 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, D.C., Suite 2400. The free testing will be available on Tuesdays and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the next three months. Residents can sign up by appointment by calling 202-865-2119, option 3. The team will see patients who are showing symptoms or who believe they are asymptomatic.
United Medical Center
United Medical Center is offering free appointment-required drive-thru and walk-up testing to DC residents who have a doctor’s referral for a test due to COVID-19 symptoms. To set up an appointment, please call 855-363-0333. Vehicles should enter via 13th St., SE and individuals walking up should enter from Southern Ave., SE. Refer to this document: https://www.unitedmedicaldc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/UMC-testing-FAQs_040120_FINAL.pdf for more information.
Clinic location: 1310 Southern Ave., SE
Clinic hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am-2 pm
What is social distancing?
Staying at home as much as possible and avoiding inessential interaction with others. This
includes not having visitors in the household, including gatherings, sleepovers, play dates. If the
need to be around others arises, maintain a six-foot distance between you and other people in
order to reduce the transmission of respiratory droplets.
Why do we have to do it?
Decreasing interaction with others decreases the chance of spreading the infection from one individual to another. This helps “flatten the curve” and prevents our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed, a problem that would result in patients not being able to receive care when they need it.
Other CDC recommendations?
Avoid non-essential travel, eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts, clean surfaces that are frequently touched.
More on how to help stop the spread found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/15-day-pause.htmlFollow local government curfew requirements! Latest updates found https://coronavirus.dc.gov/we