Symptoms and Exposure

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Can I come in and be tested?

People with COVID-19 may develop chills, fever, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. Some may also have a sore throat, muscle pain, repeated shaking, headache, diarrhea or lose their sense of taste or smell. These are very nonspecific symptoms and can be similar to many other infectious diseases like respiratory illnesses and flu. As per CDC guidance, people with these symptoms are considered to be at risk for COVID-19 if the individual:

  • Has new-onset signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Has prolonged, unprotected close contact with a person with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
  • Has recently traveled internationally within the last 14 days. (See the CDC international guidance.)
  • Has returned from a cruise in the last 14 days.

We will continue to follow CDC guidance for screening criteria for any UF Health Shands patients. If you believe you may have COVID-19, call your primary care provider to discuss your symptoms. If you are severely ill or your health care provider suggests you to go to the E.R., UF Health emergency rooms offer the comprehensive care you need.

What does “close contact” with a potentially infected person mean?

Close contact occurs when you have been within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19-positive person for more than 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the start of their symptoms until they have been deemed non-infectious, or having direct contact with infectious secretions from a person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on).

What should I do if I’m concerned that I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

In the Community

First, call your primary care provider to discuss your symptoms. All community exposures will be referred to the Department of Health in your respective county; however, in order to streamline the process, please contact your doctor first. If you do not have a primary care physician, please contact the health department in your area: