Steps to Take After COVID-19 Testing NOTE: While vaccines provide the best protection from COVID-19, treatment options such as antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies may help you feel better faster. Treatment supply is limited across the country, and will be used for those at highest risk of severe disease — talk to your doctor to see if there is a COVID treatment available for you. Versión en Español There are several reasons why you may be tested for COVID-19, including: You have COVID-19 symptoms. You were a close contact of someone with COVID-19. You are in a job or a population that may be at higher risk for exposure and suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19. You are in a job or a population for which routine or repeat testing is recommended or required. The information below will help you to determine what you should do while you are waiting for your test results, and what to do after your test results are available. When to limit contact with others What do I do while I wait for my test results? If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, were tested because you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should follow current CDC quarantine and isolation guidelines. If you were tested for COVID-19 but have no symptoms and no known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID-19 (for example, as part of a school or workplace screening program), you do not need to stay home while waiting for your results unless you are told to do so by your employer or by a public health official. How can I keep others safe after getting tested? Now that you’ve been tested, here’s what to do next to protect the people you care about and your community: Make a list. Think of people you’ve spent time with over the past two weeks or so and make a list. In case you test positive, you will already be prepared to take the first, most urgent step: sharing this list with your local health department’s team to help alert others who might be at risk. Follow CDC guidance regarding quarantine and isolation. Answer the call! If you test positive, you’ll get a phone call, text or email from a member of the COVID-19 Community Outreach Team, who is from your local health department. If you receive an email from NC-Outreachemail@example.com, a text from 45395, or see your local health department or NC COVID Community Team (1-844-628-7223) appear on your phone, please answer. They will answer your questions, offer advice on taking care of yourself, and may be able to connect you to available support such as delivery of groceries, medications, and COVID-19 related supplies like masks and a thermometer. Share. You’ll communicate by phone call or through a secure online portal shared via text or email with the NC COVID Community Team about the people you’ve been around recently. Then the NC COVID Community Team will notify them by phone call, text or email of their exposure and provide them with information on how to safely quarantine and get tested. This is done confidentially, which means your name will not be given. At no point will you be asked to provide your Social Security number, bank account or credit card information, or immigration status. We encourage you to notify your own close contacts of their exposure if you feel comfortable doing so, either directly or anonymously using TellYourContacts.org. Rest assured. The NC COVID Community Team will keep your identity private. Your personal health information is also protected and not shared with other government agencies – that's the law. BE THE ONE. If you receive a text from 45394, an email from NC-Outreachfirstname.lastname@example.org or see your local health department or NC Outreach (844-628-7223) appear on your phone, please answer us to protect your community and the people you care about. You may also call NC Outreach (844-628-7223) to learn more about available support to stay healthy. Learn more about how you can help slow the spread and help with contact tracing. Review this fact sheet in English and Spanish. What if my test is negative? If you were tested because you have symptoms, or a health care provider still thinks you have COVID-19 even with a negative test, or if you were tested because of a known contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should follow current CDC quarantine and isolation guidelines. If you were tested for another reason, do not have known or suspected contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and have no symptoms, then you can resume your regular activities. Vaccines are better than treatment. Once you are feeling well, get your free, safe COVID-19 vaccine or find out if you need a booster. What if my test is positive? If your test comes back positive, you should stay away from others and follow current CDC isolation guidelines for people with COVID-19. Additionally, you will likely receive a phone call, text and/or email from the NC COVID-19 Community Team. See the Contact Tracing FAQs to find out more about what to expect from this communication. Treatment is available, but even with newly authorized treatments, there is very limited availability. These treatments will be limited to high-risk people first – those who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised patients who are at high risk for severe disease, hospitalization or death. Talk to your doctor to see if there is a treatment available for you. If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 recently and are at high risk for severe disease because you are unvaccinated or immunocompromised, talk to your doctor about treatment or call 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish). How can I practice home care? If you cannot meet the requirements where you currently live, the COVID-19 Community Team can help to connect you to resources that can help. Stay home except to seek medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Do not use public transportation, ride shares, or taxis. Separate yourself from others in your home, especially people who are at higher risk of serious illness. Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Do not prepare or serve food to others. Do not allow visitors into your home. Other helpful recommendations include: Rest and drink plenty of fluids. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to reduce fever and pain. Do not give children younger than age 2 years any medications without first checking with a doctor. Note that medicines do not “cure” COVID-19 and do not stop you from spreading the virus. Seek medical care if your symptoms get worse, especially if you are at a higher risk of serious illness. Symptoms that indicate you should seek medical care include: difficulty breathing, not being able to keep fluids down, dehydration, confusion and other serious symptoms. If possible, call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or hospital to tell them you are isolating for COVID-19. This will help the health care personnel prepare for your arrival and protect others from getting infected. Do not wait in any waiting rooms and do wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth or mask at all times if possible. Do not use public transportation. If you call 911, first notify the dispatch and paramedics that you are under isolation for COVID-19. How can I help slow the spread? Everyone should continue to practice the 3 Ws (Wear. Wait. Wash.) whenever they leave home. Wearing a cloth mask over your mouth and nose if you will be with other people, waiting 6 feet apart from others, and washing your hands often can help protect you and your loved ones from the spread of this virus. Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces daily (including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, faucets, toilets, phones, TV remotes, keys, keyboards), and especially any surfaces that may have body fluids on them.