You’ve tested positive for COVID-19. Now what?

Getting a positive COVID-19 result can not only be stressful and anxiety-inducing, it can also make you wonder, “What do I do now?”

First things first: Talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you understand what your test results can mean to you by considering your medical history, symptoms, and other factors. We’ve also put together the following resource covering self-care tips, seeking emergency medical care, CDC’s guide to ending isolation, retesting, and more, so read on for this key information.

Self-care tips

Here are some self-care tips that can help during this stressful time:

Stay in close contact with your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen, and be sure to ask your healthcare provider about your risk factors for developing serious complications from COVID-19.

While information on COVID-19 is continually evolving, current evidence suggests that older people and people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung disease are among those who are at increased risk for complications.

Seeking emergency medical attention

It is important to seek emergency medical attention if you (or someone you know) are experiencing warning signs, including:

CDC guidelines to when it is safe to end isolation

According to current literature, symptoms can develop between 2 and 14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is believed that people with mild to moderate symptoms can be contagious up to 10 days after the onset of symptoms, while others can be contagious up to 20 days after symptoms begin.

Before ending home insulation, the CDC recommends that you wait until a minimum of 10 days have passed since you started experiencing symptoms, you have not had a fever for at least 24 hours (and you have not taken fever reducing medications ) and your symptoms have improved.

If you tested positive but did not experience any symptoms, the CDC recommends waiting until 10 days have passed since the test was done.


Ask your healthcare provider if, and when, they advise you to retest after your initial positive result. According to CDC guidelines:

Making sure the test results are negative can allow you to return to work (depending on your employer) or your normal daily routine with the peace of mind that you are not exposing others to the virus.

Protect yourself and prevent the spread of the disease

You can reduce your chances of getting infected or spreading COVID-19 by following these general rules.

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