COVID-19 treatment and prevention

Learn what to do if you have acute COVID-19 symptoms, plus discover how you can reduce your chances of getting sick.

Are there medications that treat COVID-19 outside of the hospital?

Depending on your symptoms, age and risk factors, you may be prescribed treatment to help fight COVID-19 after a positive test result.

Supply of these treatment options is very limited. We’re working with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and other care systems across Minnesota and Wisconsin to ensure access for patients at higher risk of serious illness and hospitalization.

Oral medications are pills you take at home. Two kinds of antiviral pills (Paxlovid and molnupiravir) have been authorized to treat COVID-19.

  • If you tested positive for COVID-19 at a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet location and you’re at higher risk for serious COVID-19, we’ll call you to discuss your treatment options.
  • If you tested positive for COVID-19 outside of HealthPartners or Park Nicollet, your symptoms started less than five days ago, and you believe you’re at higher risk for serious COVID-19, call the HealthPartners CareLine℠ at 800-551-0859 or the Park Nicollet Nurse Line at 952-993-4665 to discuss your treatment options. You can also call a clinic.

If you’re not prescribed oral medication for COVID-19, don’t worry – it’s not appropriate for everyone who has COVID-19.

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb)

Monoclonal antibodies are a type of medication given intravenously. Several kinds of monoclonal antibodies have been authorized to treat COVID-19.

  • If you tested positive for COVID-19 at a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet location and you’re at higher risk for serious COVID-19, we’ll call you to discuss your treatment options.
  • If you tested positive for COVID-19 outside of HealthPartners or Park Nicollet and you believe you’re at higher risk for serious COVID-19, find out more about mAb from MDH (in Minnesota) or talk to your doctor (in Wisconsin).

If you’re not prescribed monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19, don’t worry – they’re not appropriate for everyone who has COVID-19.

Remdesivir

Remdesivir is an antiviral medication given intravenously. While we regularly provide remdesivir treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, we’re not able to offer outpatient remdesivir treatment at this time.

How can I manage COVID-19 symptoms?

Getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated are key to feeling better. Over-the-counter medications may help you find relief from your COVID-19 symptoms while your immune system goes to work.

  • For babies under 4 months old: Call your child’s health care provider for care instructions.
  • For all ages over 4 months old: Use acetaminophen to help relieve pain and reduce any fever. Follow age- and weight-appropriate dosing recommendations and the package instructions. Avoid stomach upset by taking with food or milk.
  • For children over 1 year old: Honey can help soothe sore throats and coughs. (Honey is not safe for children under 1 year old.)
  • For adults only: Over-the-counter throat lozenges or antiseptic sprays can help provide pain relief.
  • For children under 4 years old: The FDA recommends no over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children 4 years of age or younger. Plenty of liquids and rest can help children feel better. Honey can help soothe sore throats and coughs. (Honey is not safe for children under 1 year old.)
  • For adults only: Take a cough expectorant that contains guaifenesin (such as Mucinex®) for three days. This will thin mucus in your chest to make it easier to cough up – it's important to allow your body to cough up mucus to get better. Avoid multi-symptom versions, which often have extra letters in their name (such as Mucinex DM®).
  • For adults only: A cough suppressant should only be used when you need a rest or break from your cough. Use an over-the-counter cough medication that contains dextromethorphan (such as Delsym®) sparingly.
  • For babies under 4 months old: A simple bulb syringe and saline nasal spray can be used to clear stuffy noses. Call your child’s doctor for other care instructions.
  • For all ages over 4 months old: Use acetaminophen to help relieve pain and reduce any fever. Follow age- and weight-appropriate dosing recommendations and the package instructions. Avoid stomach upset by taking with food or milk.

If you need any help managing your symptoms – or they appear to be worsening – call your clinic or schedule a video visit. We’ll review your concerns and help create a custom treatment plan for you.

In an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest hospital’s emergency room. If you can, wear a mask before emergency services arrive or you go to the emergency room.

How can I prevent getting sick from COVID-19? 1. Get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important thing you can do to avoid getting sick.

If you can’t be vaccinated because you’re allergic to components of the COVID-19 vaccines or your immune system wouldn’t respond strongly enough, you may be able to receive monoclonal antibodies (mAb) that have proven effective at helping prevent COVID-19. Supply of this medicine, called Evusheld, is very limited.

  • If you’re a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet patient and you may be eligible for Evusheld, we’ll call you to schedule an appointment as our supply allows.
  • If you’re not a HealthPartners or Park Nicollet patient and you think you may be eligible for Evusheld, call the HealthPartners CareLine℠ at 800-551-0859 or the Park Nicollet Nurse Line at 952-993-4665 for more information. You can also call a clinic.

Evusheld isn’t a substitute for vaccination in people who are able to be vaccinated.

2. Mask up when you need to

Depending on your vaccination status and setting, wearing a mask may be recommended to help you avoid getting sick from COVID-19.

3. Wash your hands frequently

Proper handwashing is a powerful tool that helps stop all kinds of diseases from spreading, including COVID-19.

When washing your hands, use soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol.