If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and you’re experiencing symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing, you have a few options:
- Call your primary care provider for information and referral.
- Call Virtua’s COVID-19 hotline at 888-847-8823, seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to midnight, for guidance on next steps. We appreciate your patience as wait times may be extended due to high call volume.
Note: Virtua Health is unable to test asymptomatic individuals (those NOT having symptoms) in the community at this time. Those without symptoms or a known exposure who wish to be tested for COVID-19 should go to a CVS COVID Testing Site or check out COVID Testing Sites in NJ.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, call 911 for immediate medical attention. Emergency warning signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Showing new confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
If you have mild symptoms, it's recommended you self-isolate in the comfort of your home.
- Stay home unless you need to leave for medical care.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- Stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Use a mask, cover your coughs, and wash your hands frequently.
- See the CDC's self-isolation guidelines and self-care information.
How can I protect myself?
- Get vaccinated!
- Wear a mask or face covering when you’re in a public place.
- Maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
How can I protect others?
These are ways that you can protect others from contracting COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated!
- Wear a mask or face covering when you’re around others or in a public place.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Who is at a higher exposure risk?
Unvaccinated people are at the highest risk for acquiring and spreading COVID-19. This is especially true of unvaccinated people in the following groups:
- People living or working in group housing
- Health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19
- Those who have close contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19
- Travelers returning from affected locations where community spread is occurring
Who is at a higher risk because of pre-existing health conditions?
Older people and those with pre-existing conditions — such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, high blood pressure, and cancer — are at higher risk for a severe or life-threatening case of the virus. If you're at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it's especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease. The best way to avoid acquiring COVID-19 is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Emotional support resources
offers many helpful resources on managing anxiety and stress. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and how you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
For people who have been released from quarantine
Being separated from others if a health care provider thinks you may have been exposed to COVID-19 can be stressful, even if you don't get sick. Everyone feels differently after coming out of quarantine. Some feelings include:
- Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Virtua offers a COVID-19 Support Group for people who have recovered, or are currently experiencing, COVID-19. The group meets every other Thursday via Zoom. Learn more and register to receive the link.