If you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result

If you think you may have COVID-19 and are waiting for a COVID-19 test result, stay home and monitor your health.  While you wait for your COVID-19 test result, think about everyone you have been around recently.  This will be important information to have available.  If your test is positive, someone from the health department may call you to check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others.

Positive test, whether or not you have symptoms

  • You will be asked to stay at home and self-isolate, away from others, except to get medical care.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other household members and pets.
  • Wear a mask when around other people.
  • Monitor your health: If your symptoms worsen or become severe, you should seek emergency medical care.

    You can be around others after

  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared, AND
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

***If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.  An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive.

Negative test and you do not have symptoms

  • If your test is negative and you do not have symptoms, continue to stay away from others (self-quarantine) for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19.
  • A negative result before the end of your quarantine period does not rule out possible infection.
  • You do not need a repeat test unless you develop symptoms.

Reducing Quarantine time:

  • You remain asymptomatic 10 days after exposure OR 7 days after exposure AND receive a negative PCR test result. (test must occur on day 5 or later)

After stopping quarantine you should:

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

****The CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus.  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html ****

Negative test and you have symptoms

If your test is negative and you have symtoms you should continue to stay away from others (self-quarantine) for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19 and follow all recommendations from the health department.  A second test and additional medical consultation may be needed if your symptoms do not improve.

If your symptoms worsen or become severe, you should seek emergency medical care.

3 Key Steps to Take While Waiting for Your COVID-19 Test Results (link)