Syptoms & Testing
What are the Symptoms?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
What to do if you have symptoms
- If they're mild: Most people who have mild symptoms can recover at home without medical care. If you'd like to get tested for a diagnosis, contact your healthcare provider or schedule an appointment at a publicly accessible testing site. If you do not want to get tested, it's still important to stay home, isolate and avoid contact with others, rest, and drink fluids. Take acetaminophen to bring down your fever. If you feel worse, call your health care provider.
- If they're severe: For severe symptoms (including a fever above 100°), call your health care provider. If you don't have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital or urgent care to schedule an appointment.
- If it's an emergency:Call 911. Emergency warning signs can include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
What to do if you have been exposed?
- If you were notified by a contact tracer that you've potentially been exposed, you're caring for someone who has COVID-19, or you traveled to a high-risk area, you can request to be tested by your primary care provider or schedule an appointment at a publicly accessible testing site. Regardless of your test result, you will still need to quarantine for 14 days after your last exposure to an infected person.
View the fact sheet for more testing information.
Through the work of a number of entities, testing is accessible for Pennsylvanians. As entities such as Rite Aid, CVS, Patient First and Walmart offer testing regardless of symptoms, more Pennsylvanians can get tested close to home.
While most COVID-19 tests are performed using a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab, many of the publicly accessible sites are using anterior nasal or nasal swabs that are less invasive. Where an NP swab is inserted deep enough to contact the nasopharynx at the back of the nasal cavity administered by a medical professional, a nasal swab is only inserted roughly 0.5 inches inside the nostril and can be self-administered. Both of these collection methods can be a bit uncomfortable, but neither should be painful.
Our local testing center is at UPMC Northwest at 1671 Allegheny Boulevard, Reno, PA 16343. This testing is for the general public and is by appointment only from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Call 814-676-7857 to schedule an appointment.
Physician offices may call 1-833-559-7680 to schedule the patient and facilitate getting the test order to the central team. Please use the link below to find additional testing centers.