What You Should Do After Being Tested for COVID-19

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

If you have been tested for COVID-19 and have symptoms of infection, take the following steps to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others.

Steps to Take After Being Tested

Isolate yourself

If you have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • While waiting for the results of your test, your household contacts should stay at home. (If household contacts are healthcare workers, they are encouraged to contact their employer. They may still be allowed to work while wearing a mask).
  • Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home to the extent possible. Use a separate bathroom, if available. Household members can consider staying in a separate location, if available, to decrease their risk of exposure.
  • For more information, see the CDC's guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19 at home.
  • If you must leave home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if available.
  • If your results are positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days from the time your symptoms started.

If you are awaiting results of a routine screening test:

  • If you are awaiting results from routine screening, but have no symptoms, you may return to work under the guidance of your employer (unless otherwise directed by the Mississippi State Department of Health).

Monitor your health

  • Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and if needed, take medication to reduce your fever.
  • If your symptoms get worse and you need to seek healthcare, call ahead and tell the provider that you have been tested for COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Practice healthy habits

  • Cover your cough, or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces regularly, including your phone.

Guidance for your household contacts

  • While waiting for the results of your test, your household contacts should stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • They should not go to work or school and should avoid all public places.
  • If your results are positive, your household contacts should immediately quarantine themselves for 14 days.
  • Household contacts should monitor for fever, cough and shortness of breath and contact their healthcare provider with symptoms. If they need medical assessment, they should call the health clinic or hospital before they visit.

If your results are negative (or not detected)

Continue to reduce your risk of illness:

  • Isolate yourself until fever-free for at least 48 hours (if fever was present)
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid non-essential outings

Returning to work after isolation or quarantine

If you received a State Health Officer's Order to isolate or quarantine yourself, this Order should suffice as the appropriate documentation to return to work (if needed or requested). The Mississippi State Department of Health does not provide any other form of return-to-work documentation for any individual.

If you are issued isolation/quarantine orders, be sure to keep a copy of the orders in case documentation is needed to return to work.

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Last reviewed on May 7, 2020
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U Contact and information

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