COVID-19 test results take between 1-5 days depending on the demand for testing. You will be notified of your test results by your healthcare provider as soon as they become available. Until then, you should follow these recommendations: Remember, the great majority of patients who become infected with COVID-19 experience symptoms similar to the common cold or the flu and are able to manage their symptoms at home. To treat your symptoms it is recommended you use the same medications you would use to treat symptoms of a cold or flu. In addition, you should isolate, at home, and follow the prevention steps below to limit the potential spread of illness.
STAY HOME EXCEPT TO GET MEDICAL CARE
o Restrict activities outside your home unless you need to seek medical care
o Do not go to work, school, or public areas
o Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis
SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM OTHER PEOPLE AND ANIMALS IN YOUR HOME
o Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home as much as possible
o Use a separate bathroom, if available
o Restrict contact with pets while you are sick
CALL AHEAD BEFORE VISITING YOUR DOCTOR
If you feel you need to see your doctor or have an existing medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or may have COVID-19. This will assure the healthcare provider’s office can take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
WEAR A FACEMASK
Wear a facemask when you are around other people. This includes:
o Sharing a room
o Sharing a vehicle
o Around your pets
o Before you enter a healthcare provider’s office
If for some reason you are not able to wear a facemask, those around you should.
COVER YOUR COUGHS AND SNEEZES
o Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
o Discard used tissues in a lined trash can
o Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
CLEAN YOUR HANDS OFTEN
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap is unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Clean your hands frequently, but especially:
o After blowing your nose
o After coughing
o After sneezing
o After going to the bathroom
o Before eating or preparing food
AVOID SHARING PERSONAL HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Do not share dishes, utensils, cups, towels, bedding. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
CLEAN ALL “HIGH-TOUCH” SURFACES EVERYDAY
Clean high-touch surfaces after contact. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. High touch surfaces include:
o Bathroom fixtures
o Bedside tables
MONITOR YOUR SYMPTOMS
Your healthcare provider has recommended home isolation because your current symptoms are considered mild. In the event your symptoms worsen, seek prompt medical attention.
Watch for the following symptoms and emergency warning signs
o Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
o Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
o New confusion or inability to arouse o Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
REMINDER: If your healthcare provider recommends you go to the clinic or hospital for further evaluation, put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.
ALSO, If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR TEST IS POSITIVE
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 who have symptoms that can be managed at home should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of spreading to others is thought to be low.
Early reports suggest spread most commonly occurs from person-to-person during close contact.
Close contact is defined as—
a) being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (roughly 2 minutes or longer) e.g. caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
– or –
b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (primarily via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Droplets can land in the mouths, noses, or eyes of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs of those within close proximity
NOTE: Airborne transmission from person-to-person over long distances is unlikely.
To Decrease The Spread Of Infection:
Follow the same recommendations included in the GUIDANCE FOR CARE AND ISOLATION AFTER TESTING
NOTE: State health departments require reporting of positive test results. This will be done on your behalf and requires no action on your part.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR TEST IS NEGATIVE
Current testing is thought to be up to 90% accurate. Unfortunately, that means that possibly 1 out of every 10 people tested may have a negative test but still have a COVID-19 infection. For this reason, in an effort to limit the risk of spread, you should:
o Follow the guidance given in the GUIDANCE FOR CARE AND ISOLATION AFTER TESTING until your symptoms resolve.
o Notify your healthcare provider when you are symptom free to get further direction about next steps.
DISCONTINUING HOME ISOLATION (FOR PORITIVE OR NEGATIVE RESULTS)
Talk to your healthcare provider
Many factor affect the decision to discontinue home isolation. Patients should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions is made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
If you are a household members, intimate partners, and caregivers of a person with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 or a person awaiting test results, you should:
o Monitor your health
o If you develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath) call your healthcare provider right away
When caring for patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, you should also do the following:
o Understand any instructions given by healthcare providers so you can assist if needed
o Help the patient with basic needs like getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs
o Monitor the patient’s symptoms and notify healthcare provider if symptoms worsen
o Stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible
o Prohibit visitors to the home
o Care for any pets in the home
o Ensure shared spaces have good air flow if possible (e.g. air conditioner or an opened window)
o Frequently wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol
o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth (wearing a mask may help keep your hands away from your nose and mouth)
o Ensure patient wears a facemask when around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a facemask, others should wear a mask when in the same room as the patient
o Avoid sharing household items with the patient
o After the patient uses household items (e.g. cups, utensils) you should wash them thoroughly
o Wear disposable gloves while handling household or soiled items and keep items away from your body
o Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions, to clean high-touch surfaces after contact. High touch surfaces include:
o Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them
o Use household laundry detergents, according to directions, at the warmest temperature recommended on clothing label.
o After cleaning, remove gloves and immediately discard into a lined trash can
o Immediately after removing your gloves clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
When you have contact with a patient’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine:
• Wear a disposable facemask and gloves
• Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse.
o When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Discuss any additional questions with your state or local health department or healthcare provider.