Public health guidance for patients being tested for COVID-19

Updated January 12, 2022

If you are being tested for COVID because of an exposure and are not vaccinated or not up to date on your vaccine, your quarantine may end after 5 days if you do not develop symptoms, and your test is negative. You should continue to wear a mask when around others for an additional 5 days. If you cannot wear a mask, you should quarantine for 10 days.

If you have had an exposure and are vaccinated and up to date, no quarantine is necessary if you do not have symptoms.

Vaccination status

Definition

Up to date

  • Boosted -or-
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna within the last 6 months
  • -or- Completed the primary series of J&J within the last 2 months

Not up to date

  • Unvaccinated -or-
  • Has not completed the primary series of any COVID-19 vaccine -or-
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna over 6 months ago and is not boosted -or-
  • Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and is not boosted

If you have a positive test, your primary care provider will let you know your results. You may also be able to view your results in MyChart. Please direct questions regarding your care to your primary care provider. Many local public health departments are no longer doing case investigations or notifying close contacts.

Even if you have a negative test, if you have been exposed to COVID and have certain symptoms, you may be considered a presumptive positive case. Your physician’s office can provide more information for you.

If you have a positive COVID-19 test:

  • Watch for emergency warning signs:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
    • If you have any emergency warning signs, call 911 or go to your nearest ER. Notify them ahead of time that you have tested positive for COVID.
  • Isolate at home for 5 days from when your symptoms started or the date of your positive test if you did not have symptoms.
  • To end isolation: 5 days have passed since your symptoms started or positive test AND you need to be fever free without the use of medication for 24 hours AND your symptoms greatly improved.
  • You should continue to wear a mask around others for another 5 days, at home and in public. Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, like a restaurant or gym. If you cannot wear a mask, then you should isolate for 10 days.
  • If you have an impaired immune system or are moderately/severely ill, your isolation time will be longer (10-20 days, ask your physician).
  • Call your close contacts.
    • A close contact is anyone who you have been in contact with within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes (over a 24-hour period).
    • Please tell your close contacts:
      • Seek testing 5 days after last close contact with you
      • If the close contact is not up to date with vaccination, they should quarantine at home for 5 days after last close contact with you
      • If the close contact is fully vaccinated, they should seek testing 5 days after last close contact with you, continue to wear a mask in public places, and monitor for symptoms for the next 10 days.
      • Household members are considered close contacts.

If you can, isolate yourself away from household members. If you are isolated away from not up to date household members, their quarantine starts on the last day you were in close contact. If you are unable to isolate away from not up to date household members, their quarantine extends to 5 days past your isolation end date.

This may seem extreme but accounts for the incubation period of COVID-19 and constant exposure to positive people in the home.

Up to date household members do not need to quarantine if they have no symptoms. Certain settings, like nursing homes, or other healthcare settings, may require longer quarantine or isolation times. Likewise, healthcare workers also require longer before they may return to work based upon state guidelines and employer’s policies.

Additional Information:

  • If you have school age children in the home, contact their school.
  • Your local public health department will call you as soon as they are able. Please answer your phone.

Hood River County Health Department 541-386-1115

North Central Public Health Department (Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam counties) 541-506-2600

Klickitat County Health Department 509-773-4565 or 509-493-1558

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