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Steps to Take While You Wait for Your Results

MONITOR YOUR HEALTH

It is important to monitor your health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The symptoms might include the following: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tiredness, body aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell. This list does not include all possible symptoms.

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you start to feel sick and you are worried about it, ask your doctor. Tell them that you were in contact to someone with COVID-19. If you do not have a doctor, you can call 211 or visit the 211LA website to get a referral. Make a note of when you started feeling sick and follow the guidance Home Isolation Instructions for People with COVID-19.

What should I do if I feel very sick?

If you are having serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, feel pain or pressure in your chest, have bluish lips or face, or have a new experience of confusion or a hard time waking up, call 911 or go to an emergency room.

What should I do while I wait for my test results?                                                 

While you wait for your results, it is important that you stay at home and away from others. You should arrange for others to get groceries, medicines, etc. to avoid spreading the virus. If you do not have someone to help you, you can arrange for food and other things you need to be left at your door. If you need help finding food or other necessities, call 211, visit 1degree.org or 211la.org, or the LA County Department of Public Health resource webpage.

If you get tested and don’t have symptoms, you should still continue to follow quarantine guidelines until your results are back.

  • Stay home or stay at least 6 feet away from others when you are outside your home.
  • Use a face covering when you leave the home or are around others that are not part of your household.
  • If you were in contact with someone who tested positive or could have COVID-19 you should remain at your home and away from others.

If you get tested and have symptoms, you should follow self-isolation guidelines until your results are back.

  • Stay home until the test results are back.
  • See the home care guidance to take care of yourself while waiting for your results.
  • Tell all your close contacts they need to quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with you.
  • Refer to the health officer order for home quarantine.
  • See the sections below for what to do after your results are back.

GUIDANCE BASED ON TEST RESULTS

TESTED NEGATIVE

I did not have symptoms and my test is negative. Is there anything I should do?
It is important to note that a negative test result may just mean that you were not infected at the time the test was done. You could still become infected at a later point. It is important to continue to practice prevention measures such as:

  • Staying at least 6 feet away from others
  • Using a face covering when you are in contact with others outside your home
  • Washing your hands often

If you were a contact to someone who tested positive or could have COVID-19 when you were tested, you should remain in quarantine for the full 14 days even if your test comes back negative. You can have the virus up to 14 days before feeling sick. Unless you were tested on the 14th day after exposure, a negative test does not mean you are not infected.

I have symptoms and got tested for COVID-19 but my results are negative. Is there anything I should be doing?

If you have symptoms but have negative test results for COVID-19, we still recommend that you:

  • Stay at home for at least 1 day (24 hours) after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications,
  • AND your respiratory symptoms are better (e.g., cough, shortness of breath),
  • AND at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms started

It is important to note that if you were a contact to someone who tested positive or could have COVID-19 when you got tested you must stay in quarantine for the full 14 days even if your test results were negative.

TESTED POSITIVE

I did not have symptoms but was tested for COVID-19, and my test is positive. Is there anything I should do?

Even though you do not have symptoms, if your test comes back positive you should stay home and stay away from others for at least 10 days from when you were tested. People can spread the virus even before they have symptoms. It could be that your test was done before your symptoms began or that you won’t show symptoms at all.

If you were a contact to someone who tested positive or could have COVID-19 when you were tested, you can be released after 10 days from the date of your test even if this is before your quarantine period is over, as long as you remain symptom-free.

I did not have symptoms when I tested positive for COVID-19 but I developed symptoms during my isolation period. Do I have to stay in isolation for longer?

The clock resets if you develop symptoms during your isolation period. You have to:

  • Stay at home for at least 1 day (24 hours) after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications,
  • AND your respiratory symptoms are better (e.g., cough, shortness of breath),
  • AND at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms started

If you were a contact to someone who may have COVID-19 and were in quarantine when your symptoms developed, you must follow the isolation instructions for people with symptoms

I have symptoms and my test for COVID-19 is now positive. What should I be doing?

You should continue to be in isolation until:

  • at least 1 day (24 hours) after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications,
  • AND your respiratory symptoms are better (e.g., cough, shortness of breath),
  • AND at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms started

Follow instructions for home isolation on the LA County Department of Public Health website and refer to the health officer orders for home isolation.

Be sure to tell all your close contacts they need to quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with you. Refer to the health officer order for home quarantine.

AFTER ISOLATION OR QUARANTINE

Do I still have to stay 6 feet away from others and wear a face covering even after I come out of quarantine or isolation?

Yes. Stay 6 feet apart from others and wear a face covering in public regardless of your test results or whether you have already been in isolation or quarantine.

What should I do if I have questions?

Visit the LA County Department of Public Health website www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus or call 211 for more information about COVID-19. Please call your health care provider for any questions related to your health.

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