What to do if I test positive for COVID?
Neighborhood Healthcare has free oral medication available to treat COVID that will reduce your chance of being hospitalized.
Act quickly. Most COVID-19 medications must be taken no later than 5 days after you start to feel sick to work.
If you test positive for Covid, please call 760-737-6975 to schedule a virtual visit with a provider to see if you are eligible and arrange to receive the medication.
COVID-19 MEDICATIONS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are COVID medications?
- Safe and effective prescription medications that treat COVID-19, and they are free and widely available. Most come in pill form.
- These antiviral medications stop the virus from multiplying in your body and infecting more of your cells.
- COVID-19 medications can stop COVID from getting serious. They can lower the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death by half or more. They may also help you to test negative sooner, and early evidence suggests that they may lower the risk of long COVID.
Who should seek evaluation for COVID-19 medications?
- COVID-19 medications are encouraged for most adults and some teens, since most people have conditions and experiences that make them higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness.
- Everyone 12 years and older who has symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19 should seek evaluation for COVID-19 medication from a healthcare provider.
- Experiences and conditions that would make you higher risk for worse COVID-19 illness include being 50 years and older, not being up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, asthma, diabetes, mental health conditions like depression, being of a racial/ethnic minority, and more.
When should I seek evaluation for COVID-19 medications?
- Most of the medications must be taken no later than 5 days after you start to feel sick to work.
- So as soon as you feel sick, get a COVID-19 test and please call 760-737-6975 to schedule a virtual visit with a provider to see if you are eligible and arrange to receive the medication.
Why should I take the COVID-19 medications when my symptoms are mild?
- Seeking COVID-19 medication early, before you get more sick, can make a big difference.
- COVID-19 medications are highly effective at preventing COVID illness from getting serious. Scientific evidence shows that they can lower the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 by half or more.
Should I still seek COVID-19 medications if I’m vaccinated?
- Yes! COVID-19 medications are beneficial for preventing serious illness regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated.
- COVID-19 vaccines are taken before getting COVID-19 to increase immunity against new variants.
- COVID-19 medications are taken after you get COVID-19 to stop the illness from getting serious. They may help you test negative sooner. Early evidence suggests that they may also lower the risk of long COVID, or symptoms and medical issues that can last for weeks, months, or years after a COVID-19 infection.
- Both COVID vaccines and medications prevent COVID-19 illness from getting serious.
Will I experience side effects?
- Most patients experience no side effects from COVID-19 medications. Serious side effects are very rare.
- Mild, temporary side effects happen in less than 30%* of patients who take COVID-19 medications, and include symptoms like nausea or a bitter taste in the mouth.
*Consensus on a definition of viral rebound (and therefore its prevalence) has not yet been reached.
- COVID-19 medications are safe and effective for stopping COVID-19 illness from getting serious.
What is viral rebound?
- Rebound is a return of symptoms and a new positive test a few days after symptom improvement or testing negative.
- Can occur with COVID-19 whether you took COVID-19 medications or not.
- Rebound symptoms occur in approximately 1 in 10 people.
- COVID-19 medications are still highly effective for preventing serious illness.
Where can I learn more about COVID-19 medications?
- Talk to your healthcare provider, visit YouCanBeatIt.org, or call the statewide COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-4255.