COVID-19: Treatments

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 can receive outpatient treatment to help reduce COVID-19 symptoms and avoid hospitalization.

If you have symptoms, contact your health care provider. If you need help finding free or low-cost medical care, call 311. You can get medical care in NYC regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

You can also talk to an NYC Health + Hospitals doctor by visiting ExpressCare and clicking on “Talk to a Doctor Now,” or by calling 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319).

Treatment usually works best if you begin it soon after you start feeling symptoms. Learn when and how you should get tested for COVID-19.

For information about other treatments available only for hospitalized patients, such as remdesivir and convalescent plasma, talk to your health care provider.

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibody treatment is recommended for people 12 or older who have COVID-19, have felt mild to moderate symptoms for 10 days or less and are at a higher risk for severe illness. You can also be treated with monoclonal antibodies after an exposure to COVID-19.

It can be given by intravenus infusion or by an injection.

Serious side effects and allergic reactions are rare. If you experience fever, trouble breathing or other concerning symptoms, call your health care provider.

Find a monoclonal antibody treatment facility near you on the NYC Health Map.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are concerned about a recent close contact with someone who tested positive, talk to your health care provider about this treatment.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is the only outpatient treatment authorized for use in the U.S., but other treatments are currently in development and may be available by the end of 2021.

When to Get Treatment and How to Isolate

Recognizing Symptoms

The following COVID-19 symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms, and some people with COVID-19 do not feel any symptoms.

When You Are Sick

If you are sick, stay home as much as possible. Do not go to school or to work, even if you are an essential worker. Only leave home to get essential medical care or to get basic needs such as groceries, if you have no other way to get them.

Talk to your doctor about COVID-19 treatments that may be available for you, such as monoclonal antibodies.

To protect others in your household from getting sick:

  • Stay at least 6 feet from everyone in your home — distance is the best way to protect others.

  • Wear a mask whenever you are in the same room as others. Other people in the room should also wear a mask.

  • Use a separate bathroom if available. If you share a bathroom, disinfect surfaces and fixtures after each use.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands to cover your sneeze or cough. Immediately throw out tissues and wash your hands afterward.

  • Clean surfaces that are frequently touched, such as counters, doorknobs and phones. Clean them after each use or at least once every day. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe.

  • If you share a bed with someone, sleep head-to-toe or have one person sleep on the couch or floor.

  • If you need to be in the same room as others, move around furniture so that you can sit further apart.

  • Do not share personal household items, such as glasses, cups, eating utensils and towels.

  • Do not have visitors come to your home.

The NYC Test and Trace Corps can help you safely separate at home, including assistance arranging food and medicine delivery, pet care and finding a health care provider.

To contact a resource navigator, call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319), press 5 for help to safely separate, and then press 5 again to leave a voicemail for other resources. A resource navigator will call you back.

To check if you are managing medicines safely, contact the Poison Control Center to speak with a registered pharmacist or nurse.

When You Are Feeling Better

You can stop treatments and leave isolation when all the following are true:

  • It has been at least 10 days since your symptoms started.

  • You have not had a fever for the last 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs.

  • Your overall illness has improved.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 by a diagnostic test but have never had symptoms, stay home for 10 days from the date you were tested.

"Long COVID"

Most people who have COVID-19 completely recover, but some have lasting symptoms and health problems.

Post-acute COVID-19 syndrome, also called long COVID or chronic COVID, refers to a wide range of symptoms that develop during or after COVID-19 illness and continue for several weeks or months. Symptoms include fatigue, breathing problems and muscle pain.

For more information on the symptoms of long COVID and available care options in NYC, see:

Additional Resources

More Information