COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

Use the dropdown below to learn about the symptoms of COVID-19 and options to get tested. 

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear two to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (100.4°F) or chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community:

  • Complete Google’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment or the CDC’s COVID-19 Self-Checker to determine if you should seek immediate (within twenty-four hours) medical care for your symptoms.
  • Stay home except to seek medical care:
    • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care.
    • Do not visit public areas.
    • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
    • Stay in touch with your personal healthcare provider. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
    • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • If your personal healthcare provider determines you should be tested for COVID-19, report your test to the University immediately by following the instructions included in the COVID-19 Test Reporting Policy.
  • Separate yourself from other people:
    • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.
  • Monitor your symptoms:
    • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever (100.4° F), cough, or other symptoms.
    • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
    • Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
      • Bluish lips or face
      • Inability to wake or stay awake
      • New confusion
      • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
      • Trouble breathing
  • Call ahead before visiting your personal healthcare provider or the University Nurse:
    • Call ahead. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.
    • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
  • Wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth:
    • You should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home). o You do not need to wear a cloth face covering if you are alone.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes:
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.
    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
    • If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean your hands often:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food.
    • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
    • Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty. o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items:
    • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.
    • Wash each item thoroughly after use with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.
  • Clean all high-touch surfaces daily:
    • High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom; wear disposable gloves. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but you should clean your bedroom and bathroom, if possible.
    • If a care giver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and disposable gloves prior to cleaning. They should wait as long as possible after the person who is sick has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.
    • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
    • Use household cleaners and disinfectants. Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.

Viral tests are used to learn if you have a current infection. Most people have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting worse or if you have questions about your health. Decisions about testing are made by state and local health departments in conjunction with healthcare providers.

The City of Brownwood is closely monitoring the national outbreak of the novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. The City is working with public health partners at the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department, The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure the City has best practices in place for the general public.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 and would like to be tested, you may contact the Brownwood COVID-19 hotlines at 325-642-2635 or 325-430-5933. Calls are taken daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A health department employee will answer questions and may perform a health screening over the phone. Should you need higher level of care, they will direct you on what to do next. The purpose of phone screenings is to reduce the congestion in the City’s medical facilities and allow for social distancing. Please be patient if you are not directly connected, as the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department will answer calls in the order they are received. If you are planning on going to a physician, please call before arrival.