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After Being Tested: What You Should Do

If you have been tested for COVID-19, take the following steps to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others:

Isolate yourself

  • While waiting for results, you should immediately isolate yourself at home. DO NOT GO TO WORK OR LEAVE YOUR HOME.
  • Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home to the extent possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Household members can consider staying in a separate location, if available, to decrease their risk of exposure.
  • For more information, see the CDC’s guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 at home.
  • If you must leave home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if available.
  • If your results are positive, you will need to isolate for 14 days from the time your symptoms started.

Monitor your health

  • Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and if needed, take medication to reduce your fever.
  • If your symptoms get worse and you need to seek healthcare, call ahead and tell the provider that you have been tested for COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Practice healthy habits

  • Cover your cough, or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces regularly, including your phone.

Guidance for your household contacts

  • While waiting for the results of your test, your household contacts should stay at home.
  • They should not go to work or school and should avoid all public places.
  • If your results are positive, your household contacts should immediately quarantine themselves for 14 days.
  • Household contacts should monitor for fever, cough and shortness of breath and contact their healthcare provider with symptoms. If they need medical assessment, they should call the health clinic or hospital before they visit.

If your results are negative (or not detected) continue to reduce your risk of illness

  • Isolate yourself until fever free for 3 days (if fever was present)
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid non-essential outings

© Mississippi State Department of Health – April 1, 2020

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