COVID-19 Community Information Center

Caring for someone who has COVID-19? Signs they may need to go to the hospital

If you have COVID-19 or are caring for someone who does, most likely you can recover at home. But there may be times when you need more specialized care. That’s why it’s great to be prepared and to know when it’s time to seek emergency medical attention.

Watch for warning signs

Make sure you have the phone number on hand for your doctor, or the doctor of the person you’re caring for, in case you need to call them for advice. Call the doctor if you or the person you’re caring for keeps getting sicker. For medical emergencies, call 911 and tell the dispatcher you or the person you’re caring for has COVID-19.

The CDC has a great self-check tool to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.


When to seek emergency medical attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, 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

*This list does not contain every possible symptom or warning sign. Please call your doctor for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

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