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After your COVID-19 test, you should follow self-quarantine guidelines.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), quarantining is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. People in quarantine should:
- Stay home
- Separate themselves from others
- Monitor their health
- Follow directions from their state or local health department
Following self-quarantine guidelines is especially important to keep the most vulnerable people in your family and community safe, such as the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions.
How long do I need to be in self-quarantine?
This will depend on your individual test results and exposure risk. You will need to be in self-quarantine at least until your test results are back.
What if I test positive for COVID-19?
Most people have mild COVID-19 illness and can recover at home without medical care. You should notify your healthcare provider about your test result. Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms that are concerning to you or you have questions about your health. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have COVID-19.
People who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate:
- Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
- As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. You should use a separate bathroom if available.
- Wear a facemask if you need to be around other people in or outside of the home.
- Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
- Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs, with disinfectant. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.
- Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider immediately.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Get rest and stay hydrated.
- If you have a medical appointment, call your healthcare clinician’s office ahead of time and tell them that you have COVID-19.
When can I be around others if I test positive for COVID-19?
Follow these general guidelines from the CDC for people with COVID-19.
If your test is positive and you have symptoms, you can be with others after:
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and should not delay the end of isolation.
If you had severe illness from COVID-19 (you were admitted to a hospital and needed oxygen), your healthcare provider may recommend that you stay in isolation for longer than 10 days after your symptoms first appeared (possibly up to 20 days) and you may need to finish your period of isolation at home.
If your test is positive and you have no symptoms, you can be with others after:
10 days have passed since the date you had your positive test
If you later develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for having symptoms.
What if I test negative for COVID-19?
If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. This does not mean you will not get sick:
- A negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or you are infected but your sample was collected too early in your infection.
- You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and then get infected and spread the virus to others.
- If you have symptoms later, you may need another test to determine if you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Should I get tested again for COVID-19?
If you have recovered from your symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19, you may continue to test positive for three months or more without being contagious to others. For this reason, you should be tested only if you develop new symptoms of possible COVID-19. Getting tested again should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Where can I go for more information?
- Call your trusted Nuvance Health primary care practice. At Nuvance Health, you can schedule a Virtual Visit and have a remote consultation with a healthcare provider. For more information about Virtual Visits, go to virtualvisits.
- For general questions or concerns, call the Nuvance Health COVID-19 Community Hotline at 1-800-350-1595.
- For information regarding Connecticut, including alternative COVID-19 test locations, visit CT.gov/coronavirus or call 211.
- For information regarding New York, including alternative COVID-19 test locations, visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov or call 1-888-364-3065.
- For information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website: cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Nuvance Health is keeping the communities informed on our website at coronavirus, and on social media @NuvanceHealth, or search for your hospital’s name. Nuvance Health hospitals include Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Sharon Hospital in Connecticut; Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital, Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York.