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I Got Tested - Now What?

Do I need to stay home until I get my result?

Yes, if you have symptoms or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. But getting a test alone is not a reason to stay home. Here is the best guidance for whether to stay home while waiting for your test result:
  • If you are not fully vaccinated and you know you have had close contact with someone who tested positive – being within about 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more throughout the course of a day – the safest option is to stay home and away from others for 14 days. In certain situations, you may end your quarantine sooner. Visit Close Contacts and Tracing: COVID-19 for more information. Some work settings, like health care, have different rules about quarantine. Check with your employer.
  • If you have symptoms, or you’ve been advised by your doctor or local public health to stay home and be tested, you should follow their advice. 
  • If you were tested as part of a screening program or for an upcoming medical procedure, you don’t need to stay home while you wait for your result as long as you don’t have symptoms and haven’t had close contact with someone who tested positive. 
  • If  someone has completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses in a two-dose series or one dose in a one-dose series) and is exposed, they do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true:
    • The COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed.
    • They do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

Other things to consider: 

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and away from others (isolate). If your symptoms get worse, contact your health care provider and tell them you're waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.
  • Make a plan. If your test is positive, you will need to stay home and away from ALL others (isolate) for at least 10 days. Visit Close Contacts and Tracing: COVID-19 for more information.
  • Make a list of people you’ve been in contact with recently. Tell them you’re waiting for a COVID-19 test result and that they should stay away from others. 
  • You’ll be notified by phone, text, or email when your results are available. It may take several days. 

If your test is positive...

And you have symptoms:

A public health worker will contact you with more information, but you will definitely need to plan on staying home until all three things are true:

  • You feel better and symptoms have improved; and,
  • It has been 10 days since you first felt sick; and,
  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medicine.

And you do not have symptoms:

You will need to stay home for at least 10 days after getting tested for COVID-19. A public health worker will contact you with more information. Visit Close Contacts and Tracing: COVID-19 for more information.

If your test is negative...

And you’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID-19: 

If you are not fully vaccinated and have had close contact with a person with COVID-19, you need to stay home and away from others (quarantine) even if you have no symptoms. 

  • COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to make you sick, and some people with COVID-19 never feel sick, so you need to separate yourself from others so you don’t spread the virus without knowing it. 
  • The safest option is to stay home and away from others for 14 days. In certain situations, you may end your quarantine after 10 days, or after seven days with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (not antibody/blood or antigen). You cannot end your quarantine before seven days for any reason. For more about your quarantine options if you have no symptoms, visit the Close Contacts and Tracing page at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

And you are vaccinated:

  • If someone has completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses in a two-dose series or one dose in a one-dose series) and is exposed, they do not need to quarantine if ALL of the following are true: 
    • The COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed. 
    • They do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19.

And you have symptoms: 

Talk to your doctor and follow their advice.

And you do not have symptoms: 

Continue to protect yourself. Get vaccinated if you are able, and until you are fully vaccinated, follow social distancing and frequent hand-washing, and wear a mask when you’re out in public. Get tested again if you develop symptoms or have contact with someone with COVID-19.

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