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Home Care Tips for Mild COVID-19 Symptoms

Medically reviewed by Ika Villanueva Caperonce, MD · Infectious Disease · Makati Medical Center

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 02, 2022

    Home Care Tips for Mild COVID-19 Symptoms

    Lately, we’ve been hearing news about how hospitals are reaching their full capacities. The lack of beds, equipment, and medicines renders them incapable of further accepting COVID-19 patients. The good news is, most cases of SARS-Cov2 infections are mild and recovery can happen at home. But the question is, how do we address mild COVID symptoms at home? Find out here.

    Save Important Contact Details

    If you haven’t done so yet, learn how your community handles suspect and confirmed COVID cases.

    You see, some municipalities advise symptomatic patients to contact their barangay officers so they can assign them to a healthcare worker. The healthcare worker will then assist them with their needs and guide them through testing, isolation, or transfer to a hospital.

    It’ll also be helpful to determine if your area has a dedicated quarantine facility, especially if you live with someone who’s at risk of developing severe infection.

    Following your municipality’s social media accounts and saving their contact numbers, as well as the numbers of the nearest healthcare facilities, might prove useful in case you get sick with mild or severe COVID.

    Prepare the Essentials

    Sick or not, it wouldn’t hurt you to keep a stock of the following essential items:

  • Food and water; include ingredients for healthy meals and foods you and your family like even when sick
  • Household supplies, especially for cleaning and disinfection
  • Medicines and supplements
  • Thermometer
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Masks
  • A way to consult a doctor (phone or internet) and contact others, to alert them that you need help.
  • How to Address Mild COVID Symptoms at Home

    In case you developed mild COVID symptoms like fever, body aches, cough, sore throat, and headache, consider doing the following:

    Stay at home

    Don’t go to work even if you feel well enough to do so.

    At home, isolate yourself in a separate room at all times. Though being in shared spaces is not ideal especially when you have vulnerable members at home, if it can not be avoided, wear a surgical mask if you need to be around people and maintain distance. Don’t share utensils and do have your food sent to your room during mealtimes. If your home has two bathrooms, dedicate one to yourself. When bathroom sharing is the only option, it needs disinfection after you use it. Also, don’t forget regular handwashing and disinfection.

    Now, if you live alone, arrange for no-contact delivery of your essentials. In some areas, the barangay officers help with this.

    how to address covid symptoms at home

    Get plenty of rest

    One of the things you can do to address mild COVID symptoms at home is to get plenty of rest. Resting and having adequate sleep help your body fight off the infection.

    Stay hydrated

    Getting plenty of fluids helps address some of the mild symptoms of COVID at home.

    If you have a fever, water replaces the fluids you lose through sweating and it helps dehydration. Warm water can also soothe dry cough and nasal congestion by breaking up the mucus. Consider sipping water throughout the day.

    Note: Avoid sugary drinks and caffeinated beverages. However, you can add a teaspoon of honey with a cup of tea or water to ease your sore throat.

    Eat nutritious meals

    Even if you lose your sense of taste and smell, it’s crucial to have healthy meals.

    If you’re alone and capable, consider meal prepping batches of foods, so you don’t have to cook now and then. Otherwise, ask another member of the family to prepare your meals.

    Consider OTC medicines and supplements

    And finally, you can consider over-the-counter medicines and supplements after the recommendation of your doctor via online consultation or telemedicine.

    • For fever, headache, and body aches, you can take acetaminophen or paracetamol.
    • For coughing, it depends. Dry cough may need an expectorant or mucolytic (guaifenesin); wet cough may require cough suppressant (dextromethorphan). Some brands contain both ingredients.
    • We need more studies to prove their effectiveness against COVID-19, but some reports1,2 indicate that Vitamin C and D might be helpful. Consider taking them because they generally help in boosting the immune system during viral illnesses.

    Important: Many cold medicines contain paracetamol; if that’s the case, please don’t take paracetamol separately. Additionally, don’t take any antibiotics unless you are advised by your physician.

    Perform self-monitoring

    To address mild COVID symptoms at home, you need to closely monitor your signs and symptoms by:

    • Taking your temperature and pulse oximeter readings once or twice daily or as needed.
    • Keeping a symptoms diary. Note if you have recurring or persisting fever by the 2nd week.
    • Limiting doing light activities due to excessive fatigue and shortness of breath. This way, you’ll know if you’re experiencing excessive fatigue and shortness of breath even if you’re not doing light activities.

    Self-monitoring is especially crucial for elderly people and those with comorbidities.

    When to Seek Medical Help Right Away

    The above recommendations are only to manage mild COVID symptoms. Call for medical help right away, or ask someone else in the house to do so, if you experience the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pressure or pain in the chest
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • New confusion
  • Pale, grey, or bluish discoloration in the lips and nailbeds.
  • Finally, don’t address COVID symptoms at home if you’re at risk of severe infection.  Conditions that put you at risk include advanced age, heart diseases, obesity, and cancer. In these cases, you strictly need the guidance of a doctor.

    On Ending Quarantine 

    On ending quarantine, you need to follow the guidelines set by your municipality. Although re-testing is no longer performed, municipalities often require you to complete your 14-day quarantine. You might also need to remain symptoms-free for a certain period before the health authorities allow you to go out again.

    Learn more about Coronavirus here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ika Villanueva Caperonce, MD

    Infectious Disease · Makati Medical Center

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 02, 2022

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