Outpatient Treatments for COVID-19

Last updated on 6/14/2024.

Clinicians should consider COVID-19 treatment in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who have one or more risk factors for severe COVID-19. Patients must start treatment as soon as possible or within 5-7 days of symptom onset.

The information on this page provides treatment overview for healthcare providers. See below, or click the following links, to learn more about:

Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19

Severe outcomes of COVID-19 are defined as hospitalization, intensive care, ventilatory support, or death. There may be other medical conditions related to severe COVID-19 not listed here. Healthcare providers should use clinical judgment to accurately assess a person’s risk.

Risk factors for severe COVID-19 include:

Some racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. This can be a result of many factors, including limited access to vaccines and healthcare. Healthcare providers can consider these factors when evaluating the risk for severe COVID-19 and use of therapeutics.

Outpatient Treatments for COVID-19

Oral ritonavir-boosted nirmatrelvir (Paxlovid)

  • Approved for use in adults and authorized for use in pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40kg).
  • Patients should start this treatment as soon as possible and within 5 days of symptom onset.
  • Paxlovid should be taken, by mouth twice daily for 5 days.
  • Clinicians may recommend longer or additional courses of Paxlovid for some patients. This includes patients with a weaker immune system who still have COVID-19 symptoms even after getting treatment.
  • Clinicians should be aware of the eligibility criteria and the potential for drug interactions

For more information:

Intravenous remdesivir (Veklury)

  • Remdesivir is the second preferred treatment option (after Paxlovid) for adults and pediatric patients (age >28 days and weight > 3kg). 
  • This treatment is a 3-day course of intravenous (IV) infusions that should start within 7 days of symptom onset. 
  • Clinicians may recommend longer or additional courses of remdesivir for some patients. This includes patients with a weaker immune system who still have COVID-19 symptoms even after getting treatment.  
  • This treatment is also approved for use in patients with mild to severe hepatic impairment.

For more information:

Symptomatic Management

All patients with COVID-19 symptoms should be offered symptoms management. This includes over-the-counter antipyretics, analgesics, or antitussives for fever, headache, myalgias, and cough.

Additional Resources

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Email COVIDtreatment@sdcounty.ca.gov if you have any questions about COVID-19 outpatient treatment.