Feeling Sick?

Easy to Read information about COVID-19 (CDC)

all 911 and seek immediate medical attention if you show any emergency warning signs such as trouble breathing, pain/pressure in the chest, inability to stay awake, new confusion or bluish lips/face.*

Symptoms of COVID-19

May appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain/body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
COVID-19 has similarities to influenza (flu) - learn more about similarities and differences here. You can also visit clayhealth.com/flu.

Next Steps

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and have reason to believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact your health care provider for instructions. While not a substitute for professional medical guidance, you can also use a screening tool like the CDC Self-Checker for what next steps to take.

Important: As soon as you begin experiencing symptoms, discontinue going out in public and isolate from others in your home as much as possible (see below). If you must be around others, wear a mask, keep at least six feet of distance and complete your task or errand as quickly as possible.

Seek Testing

You may be able to receive a test through your primary care provider. There are also many other options available for testing in and around Clay County, including drive-thru and pop-up test sites. For more information, please visit our Testing page.

Do not go directly to the emergency room or the health department for testing.

Remember, once you have received a test, you must continue to isolate. If not, not only do you risk spreading the disease to others but your results may not be accurate (if you were negative when the test was taken but become infected in the meantime).


Isolate If You Are Sick

Isolation is used to separate people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from people who are not infected.

If you are sick with COVID-19, you need to stay home until it’s safe to be around others again. Use the guidance below to determine when you can discontinue isolation.

Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may stop isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days* have passed since symptoms began and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since having no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms have improved.

*A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days, that may warrant extending duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset. Consider consultation with infection control experts. See Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings (Interim Guidance).

Persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who never develop COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive test for COVID-19.

For businesses and organizations: Clay County Public Health Center recommends adopting this Symptom-Based Criteria for business return-to-work policies, return-to-school policies, return-to-daycare policies and return to any other community participation policies depending on which scenario best applies to your organization. As the science evolves, so do these recommendations. Routinely review current recommendations to maintain policy alignment. View Business Guidance if a Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19.


Quarantine If You Have Been Exposed and are Unvaccinated

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. This person is often referred to as a "close contact."

Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others and monitor their health.

The following is Clay County Public Health Center's guidance for quarantine, based on updated options from CDC:

  • - A full, 14-day quarantine for any close contacts is preferred, in alignment with CDC's recommendation.
  • - If you have NO symptoms of COVID-19, you can choose to end quarantine after 10 days. HOWEVER, you must continue to wear a mask and monitor your symptoms for the full 14 days.
  • - If you are unable to wear a mask (in general or for a particular activity), you would need to complete the 14 day quarantine or avoid any activities for which you cannot wear a mask until the end of your 14 day quarantine.
  • - The CDC option to end quarantine early based on a negative test result should NOT be used. This is because our area does not currently have the testing capacity to support this and it would have an adverse impact on our community diagnostic testing efforts.
  • - If you have been vaccinated: People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated (two weeks since final dose) against the disease and show no symptoms.

Read the full statement from CCPHC about quarantine guidance here.

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. mAb s directly neutralize the COVID-19 virus and are intended to prevent progression of disease.

At this time, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and vulnerable individuals over the age of 12 who have had a significant exposure to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive treatment. Learn more here.

Coronavirus Self-Checker

While Waiting for Results


What Your Test Results Mean


How do we measure the presence of variants like Delta?

Missouri is participating in the national surveillance for COVID-19 variants of concern. Our state’s public health laboratory is sequencing a limited amount of samples for presence of genetic material specific to each variant. See the latest data.

Since February 2021, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services has been collaborating with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the University of Missouri to test wastewater samples for the presence of COVID-19variants in our communities. Learn more about Missouri’s Sewershed Surveillance Project.