*The infographic above was compiled primarily from CDC data.*

Editor’s Note: The following summary was drawn from publicly available information on COVID-19 and is intended to serve as an informational resource only, not as a substitute for medical advice.  If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus, please contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

by Phil Dodderidge, Vice-Chair Florida Keys Democrats

Generally, if a person gets Coronavirus they can plan on a 30 day combination isolation/recovery period.

According to data by the CDC, initial symptoms usually appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure to the virus, with an average of 5-6 days for symptoms to appear.  If you think you have the virus, please get tested.  This will determine your course of treatment and allow you to be more cognizant of the progression of symptoms and to recognize if they become serious and require hospitalization or other treatments(s).  There is no known cure for the virus and most cases are mild and do not require hospitalization.  The CDC considers a person to be contagious from initial exposure to at least 10 days after and recommends self-isolation at home, even for mild cases.

For Those Who Have the Coronavirus, the CDC Recommends:

 Staying 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 doctor. 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.

Separating 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.
  • Additional guidance is available for those living in close quarters and shared housing.
  • See COVID-19 and Animals if you have questions about pets.

Monitoring Your Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, but other symptoms may be present as well.  Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention right away.

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.


Lab tests can tell if COVID-19 is what is causing your symptoms.  Once you get tested, the tests must be read and analyzed before you get your results back, which usually takes 3 days from the testing date.  There are 2 different types of tests: A molecular test and an antibody test.  The first determines whether or not you currently have the virus, and the second determines whether or not you have already had the virus in the past.  Some people test positive for the virus but do not exhibit any symptoms.  Those people should self-quarantine for 10-14 days as a precaution, and may not develop any symptoms.

There is a great on-line app that can give you the locations of Covid-19 testing locations near you.  Using the Marathon zip code and a 50-mile radius, the app is showing 7 testing locations in the Florida Keys:

Facility Name Location
Advanced Urgent Care – Key Largo Key Largo
A-1 Urgent Care & Family Practice Center Key Largo
Lower Keys Medical Center Key West
Advanced Urgent Care – Key West Key West
Fishermen’s Hospital Marathon
Community Health of South Florida – Marathon Marathon
Mariner’s Hospital Tavernier

Ending Home Isolation

People with COVID-19 who have home isolated can end their quarantine under these recommended conditions:

Self-Quarantine/No Testing

  • No fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

Self-Quarantine/With Testing

  • No longer have a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • Two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

Self-Quarantine/Test Positive/No symptoms

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of the first positive test
  • No symptoms (no cough or shortness of breath) have presented since the test
  • If you have had a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after you received two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart.

**In all cases, follow the guidance of your doctor and local health department.  The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments.  Some people, for example those with conditions that weaken their immune system, might continue to shed virus even after they recover.