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I Got Tested - Now What?

If I get tested, do I need to stay home until I get my result?

Not necessarily. Getting a test alone is not a reason to stay home (quarantine). Here is the best guidance for whether to stay home while waiting for your test result:
  • If you know you’ve had close contact with someone who tested positive – in general, close contact means being within about 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more throughout the course of a day (24 hours) – the safest option is to stay home and away from others for 14 days. In certain situations, you may end your quarantine sooner. Visit How and When to Quarantine or Isolate for more. (Some work settings, like health care, have different rules about quarantine. Check with your employer.) 
  • If you’ve been advised by your doctor or local public health to stay home and be tested, you should follow their advice. 
  • If you do not have symptoms, have not had close contact with a person who tested positive, and have not been specifically recommended for testing, you can still get tested. A person deciding to get a test at a community testing event under these circumstances does not need to stay home until they receive their result; however, given high community spread, it is a good idea to limit social interactions during this time. And be sure to be vigilant about basic COVID-19 safety protocol when you do see others: 
    • Wear a mask. 
    • Stay 6 feet from others (social distancing). 
    • Avoid large crowds. 
    • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. 

Other things to consider: 

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and away from others (quarantine). 
  • 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 How and When to Quarantine or Isolate for more.
  • 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. 
  • If you were tested for an upcoming medical procedure and do not have symptoms, you do not need to stay home. 
  • You’ll be notified by phone, text, or email when your results are available. It may take several days. 
  • If your symptoms get worse, contact your health care provider and tell them you’re waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.


How long to keep away from others

 
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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 How and When to Quarantine or Isolate in the meantime. 

If your test is negative...

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

If you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 (an exposure), 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 have symptoms: 

Talk to your doctor and follow their advice. If there is not another diagnosis, you should still stay away from work, school, and other public places until you’re feeling better and have no fever. Symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to other illnesses, like flu, and the risk of spreading these illnesses to others in your community can be high. 

And you do not have symptoms: 

Continue to protect yourself by using social distancing and frequent hand-washing, and by wearing 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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