COVID-19 Testing and Information
Frequently-Asked Questions about COVID-19 Testing and Results
WHAT DO I DO IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
The CDC revised guidance regarding isolation and quarantine based on the most recent science that the majority of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) occurs soon after infection.
People who test positive for COVID-19 and have mild disease or no symptoms, regardless of vaccination status:
- Isolate at home for a minimum of 5 days.
- If symptoms are improving after 5 days and there is no fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, or if there were never symptoms, patients may leave isolation after 5 days. (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
- Anyone who tests positive should wear a mask around other people, including when at home with members of their household, for an additional 5 days following discontinuation of isolation – i.e., a total of 10 days of masking around others if isolation is discontinued on day 5, a total of 12 days of masking around others if isolation is discontinued on day 7, etc.
- Follow our detailed guidance on how to manage symptoms, when to call us, and how to avoid spreading COVID-19 to your family.
- If symptoms are worsening and you are an Atrius Health patient, please contact your doctor’s office.
Patients who have moderate disease (i.e., shortness of breath) or severe disease (hospitalization) are recommended to isolate for a minimum of 10 days.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19?
The CDC has recently released extensive guidance for people who have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. This guidance comprehensively outlines who should quarantine (based on vaccination status), what you should do if you do have to quarantine, what happens if you develop symptoms or test positive, and what to do after quarantine.
Continued mask wearing when around other people following quarantine or isolation is ESSENTIAL to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission that can remain after the outlined quarantine or isolation periods.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I TEST POSITIVE WITH AN AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST?
People who have a positive test using an at-home test should consider themselves to be infected with COVID-19. Positive tests for patients with compatible symptoms and/or a known or suspected exposure are likely to be a true positive. Although the at-home COVID-19 tests are quite accurate when used appropriately, very rarely, these tests may deliver a false positive result when a person does not have COVID-19. If there is little possibility of exposure and no symptoms, yet an at-home test is positive, you may consider doing a second home test to confirm the result. People with a positive test result should stay home and isolate away from others as outlined in the most recent CDC guidance for isolation.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I TEST NEGATIVE WITH AN AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST?
A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not detected at that time. If a person has symptoms at the time of taking the test, this does not entirely exclude a COVID-19 infection.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms but received a negative test result, we recommend repeating testing, either with a second, at-home test or a laboratory-based (PCR) test. It is recommended to repeat testing, ideally within 2-3 days of the first test.
DO I ALSO NEED A PCR TEST IF I TEST POSITIVE WITH AN AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST?
No. People who have a positive test using an at-home test should consider themselves to be infected with COVID-19.
HOW CAN I GET A COVID-19 TEST AT ATRIUS HEALTH?
We are now scheduling appointments for all forms of COVID-19 PCR testing, including testing for patients who have symptoms or are exposed without symptoms, as well as clearance testing for travel, before a medical procedure, and return to work and school. If you have a MyHealth account, you can directly schedule COVID-19 testing in MyHealth. If you do not have a MyHealth account, or if you wish to speak with a healthcare provider before scheduling a test, please contact your doctor’s office.