What should I do if I’m diagnosed with COVID-19?
If your test results for COVID-19 are positive, this means that COVID-19 (coronavirus) was found in your test and you have been diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection.
Do not panic. For most people who test positive, COVID-19 produces mild to moderate symptoms, such as sore throat, fever, fatigue, cough and runny nose. Only a small number of patients get a severe illness.
If you have not already done so, please isolate yourself at home right away. You must stay in isolation for at least 5 days even if you do not have any symptoms. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. If you don’t have symptoms, day 0 is the date of your positive test.
You can stop home isolation when all of the following conditions are met:
- It’s been at least 24 hours since you had a fever without taking a fever-reducing medication (such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen) and
- It’s been at least 24 hours since you experienced an improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and
- At least 5 days have passed since your symptoms first started, or since you tested positive, if you are asymptomatic and never develop symptoms.
If you meet the above conditions and end your home isolation, you must continue to wear a mask outside of your home for an additional 5 days.
Use the CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation Calculator for more guidance on COVID-19 isolation.
Contact your medical provider
If you did not receive your diagnosis from a UCLA Health doctor because you went to an outside testing site or took a home test, you should contact your medical provider right away.
Tell your doctor’s office that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19. This will help them ensure you get the best possible care and protect others.You can set up a video visit, during which you can discuss your symptoms and determine the best plan of care.
If your symptoms worsen — particularly if you have difficulty breathing — contact your doctor or primary medical provider right away. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell them you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
What should I do if I’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, but I test negative?
If your test results for COVID-19 are negative, this means that COVID-19 (coronavirus) was not detected in your test specimen. If your sample was collected while you had symptoms, a negative result likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing your current illness. However, while in the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected.
If you have been in close contact with someone who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and your original COVID-19 test was negative, please follow the below guidance:
- If you are fully vaccinated, have received a booster(s) and you are not experiencing symptoms, you do not have to quarantine. However, you still need to monitor for symptoms for 10 days after you last contact with the infected person. You also should wear a mask around others for 10 days, and test again 5 days after your exposure. If that test is positive or you develop symptoms, you need to isolate at home.
- If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, recovered, and remain without symptoms, you do not have to quarantine or get tested after close contact. Wear a mask around others for 10 days from the date of your most recent close contact.
- If you are not fully vaccinated or you have not received a booster dose (and are eligible), you should quarantine at home for 5 days and continue to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days. If it is not possible to quarantine, you must wear a mask around others for 10 days. You should also test again 5 days after your exposure. If that test is positive or you develop symptoms, you need to isolate at home.
If you’re unsure whether you should isolate or quarantine, use the CDC’s Quarantine and Isolation Calculator.
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