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The original item was published from 1/13/2022 11:24:23 AM to 1/14/2022 12:37:34 PM.

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Public Health

Posted on: January 13, 2022

[ARCHIVED] What to do if you test positive for COVID or were exposed to someone with COVID

What to do if you test positive for COVID or are exposed

New York State has implemented significant changes in contact tracing procedures due to the overwhelming spread of COVID-19 at this time. It is not feasible for our local health department to personally reach every positive and close contact because of the volume of cases. Although guidance has been updated as of 1/12/2022, the basics of staying home as a positive case or close contact has remained the same.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID?

Please note:

Steps to take if you tested positive

  1. Stay home for 5 days
    • From when your symptoms started, or if you don't have symptoms, stay home for 5 days from your test date.
    • Please note: If you are still having a fever at day 5, continue to stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours.
  2. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 more days
    • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your home.
    • Wear a well-fitting mask when around others, as you may still be contagious up until about 10 days after your symptoms started or you tested positive.
    • Please note: If you can't wear a mask or are moderately-severely immunocompromised, you should stay home for the full 10 days.
  3. Inform your employer / school and anyone you may have exposed
    • Refer the people you exposed to this website to the "What should I do if I was exposed to COVID?" section below.
    • People with COVID are typically contagious for about 10 days after their symptoms start and the two days before their symptoms started.
    • People are most likely to get COVID from you if they were within 6 feet of you while you were contagious for 10+ minutes or if you spent a long time with you in the same room / enclosed space. This most likely would include:
      • People who live in your home with you
      • People you may have visited with
      • People you work with or attend school with
      • People who provide services to you in your home
  4. Print / download a copy to your phone / computer of the following form for your records and to give to your employer / school, if needed:

What should I do if I was exposed to COVID?

If you were in close contact with someone with COVID while they were contagious, you should take extra precautions for at least 10 days after you were exposed. View the below information or click here for detailed information from the CDC about who does and does not need to quarantine and how to quarantine. Please note:

  • You may not receive a call from NYS or Public Health. Contact tracing is still be conducted in congregate settings such as schools, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, etc.
  • It will be your self-responsibility to quarantine.
  • You will be self-responsible to print off the below form if you need one for your employer / school or for the New York Paid Family Leave for COVID-19.
  • If you are (a) Fully vaccinated AND boosted or (b) Fully vaccinated and NOT yet eligible for a booster, you do not have to quarantine. You should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days starting from the last day you were exposed to the person who tested positive for COVID. If you develop symptoms, you should get tested and stay home.
  • If you are (a) Not fully vaccinated OR (b) Fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster, but have not gotten it yet, you should quarantine.

Steps to take if you need to quarantine

  1. Stay home for 5 days
    • From when you were last exposed to the person who tested positive for COVID.
  2. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 more days
    • Wear a well-fitting mask when around others. While symptoms or a positive test usually occur in the initial 5 days after exposure, it can take longer in some cases.
    • Please note: If you can't wear a mask or are moderately-severely immunocompromised, you should stay home for the full 10 days
  3. Testing is recommended 5 days after your exposure or if you develop symptoms
    • If you develop symptoms, you should get tested and stay home. 
  4. Print / download a copy to your phone / computer of the following form for your records and to give to your employer / school, if needed:

Additional isolation and quarantine resources and information

Additional Info...
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