Diagnosis and Treatments
COVID-19 Diagnosis and Treatments
Last updated: March 4, 2022
To confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19, your provider may use a swab in your nose or throat to collect a sample of your respiratory secretions. A lab will then determine if the sample contains the virus that causes COVID-19.
However, it is important to note that not everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested. Your care provider will determine if testing is required. Even if you do not get tested, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should follow all precautions as though you have the infection.
Northwestern Medicine requires a physician order for COVID-19 testing. A list of the current testing locations and details can be found here. These locations and hours are subject to change. Please discuss your preferred testing location with your physician.
What to Do If You Feel Sick
|Call your physician’s office for guidance about testing and treatment if you have symptoms of COVID-19.|
|Do not go to your physician’s office before calling. You could risk infecting others.|
|If you are having serious trouble breathing, go to the emergency department or call 911.|
Can I receive an oral treatment for COVID-19?
At this time, the state of Illinois has a limited supply of the two oral medications to treat COVID-19, nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) and molnupiravir (Lagevrio). Patients who are at risk for severe illness and qualify for treatment include:
- Those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
- Patients 65 and older who are unvaccinated and at high risk
Patients who qualify to receive the oral medications should discuss treatment options with their physician.
We will update this page when additional information about oral treatments is available.
If I receive a prescription for one of the two oral medications, will I be able to get it filled?
Your pharmacy may not be able to fill your prescription for Paxlovid or Lagevrio because of limited quantities. Your physician will talk to you about other options if this occurs.
Can I receive a monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19?
With the significant increase in COVID-19 cases, both the state of Illinois and Northwestern Medicine are experiencing an extremely high demand for monoclonal antibody treatment. Currently, doses are only being given to the following people:
- Immunocompromised, unvaccinated patients who have three or more conditions that place them at high risk for severe COVID-19
- Unvaccinated pregnant women with at least one high-risk condition placing them at high risk for severe infections
- Vaccinated patients with three or more high-risk factors
Your physician will talk to you about other options if you are not able to receive monoclonal antibodies.