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What if I have COVID symptoms?

One thing the COVID-19 pandemic has done is make people more vigilant and cognizant of when they are not feeling 100 percent. They’re on the lookout to do the right thing should any symptoms pop up.

What symptoms should I be looking for?

COVID-19 comes with a variety of symptoms, and your symptoms may be totally different than someone else’s. Symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after you’re exposed (average is five days after exposure) and can vary from mild to severe.

In general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the following as symptoms you may experience if you have COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What do I do if I have one of these symptoms?

Regardless of your vaccination status, if you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, you should stay home, self-isolate and get tested.

To schedule a symptomatic COVID-19 test on campus, start with IU’s symptom checker. You’ll be asked what symptoms you’re having, and then you’ll receive an email with a link to schedule your test.

All symptomatic tests require an appointment. There are no walk-ins. The test will be done outside and is drive up/walk up to ensure safety.

If you have a loved one experiencing symptoms, they can find a community testing site through the Indiana Department of Health or call their primary-care physician’s office.

When will I get my test results?

Test results will be available in 24 to 48 hours. While you’re waiting for your results, you should continue to self-isolate. Ideally, you’ll stay in a space with your own bedroom and bathroom. If you can’t avoid being in the same room as others, you should wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance.

When your results are ready, you’ll receive an email to your IU email address with a link to view your results.

Your results will fall into one of these categories:

  • Detected: This means you have an active COVID-19 infection and must continue to isolate. IU contact tracers will soon be in touch with further directions and guidance.
  • Not detected: This means you do not have an active COVID-19 infection. You should continue to isolate, however, until you’re feeling better and have not had a fever for 24 hours.
  • Inconclusive/Invalid/Unacceptable specimen: This means it’s not possible to say if you have COVID-19 at the time of your test and you’ll need to be retested.

The bottom line

If you’re having symptoms, get tested. It doesn’t matter whether you’re vaccinated or not. Start with IU’s symptom checker and schedule now.

Amanda Roach is a senior communications consultant in the Office of the Vice President for Communications and Marketing