In the picture above you can see the process or stages of a COVID-19 infection.
Day (-)5: Patient’s exposure to COVID-19 happens.
It is only after this 5-day period that their infection will officially ‘begin’.
Day 0-2: 5 days after their initial exposure, their infection will ‘happen’ in these first 2 days. They will become contagious in those first 2-3 days, but will show no symptoms
You can test at this point because your infection has officially begun
Day 3: Their symptoms will appear, but for 80% of people, they will have no symptoms or a mild case of COVID-19.
Day 5-7: This is a crucial period of days as it is at this point that many people go into hospital if they have a serious case of the virus. Some patients may have a “mild” case of the disease in the very beginning, but their symptoms may get worse over the course of the first week or more & then they may need hospitalization.
Those who need hospitalization normally reach this point of needing additional health support on day 5 to 7 after their symptoms start (Wang, et al.).
These patients should be on the lookout for any worsening ability to perform normal activities or tasks at home due to ‘shortness of breath’. These patients should immediately contact their doctor. You can learn what ‘serious symptoms‘ to watch out for here.
These patients need to take a copy of their positive COVID-19 results & get checked at a healthcare facility.
Day 14: If you had a mild case and are symptom free, you can stop isolating.
After this point if you recovered and want to test for a COVID-19 you would need to use a Rapid COVID-19 Antibody test
For a more in depth look at the stages of a COVID-19 infection take a look at our helpful article on the day by day symptoms of a COVID-19 infection.