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.

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 a clinic or schedule a video visit to discuss your treatment options.

If you’re not prescribed oral medication for COVID-19, don’t worry – it’s 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 a clinic or schedule a video visit to discuss your options.

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.