COVID-19 Positive Test Result: Next Steps

On August 11, the CDC issued new COVID-19 guidance . We are currently reviewing this guidance. Please check back soon for updates.

Do I need to stay home?

If you tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to someone with COVID-19, use the CDC calculator  to determine what steps you need to take. To use the calculator, click the button below, then once on the CDC’s page, click Get Started.

What to Do if You are Sick or Possibly Exposed

Working on updates as of 8/12/2022

I Tested Positive for COVID-19

Isolate at home for at least 5 days and wear a mask when around others for an additional 5 days.

  • If you had a positive at-home test, report your result. If you or your child has a positive at-home test, you can report your result  to help Public Health better understand the level of COVID in our community. Please enter separate surveys for each individual who tested positive via a home test. You should also try to receive a follow-up PCR test collected at a clinic or community test site within 48 hours to confirm the test result.
  • Expect us to reach out. We try to reach everyone who has a positive COVID test collected at a clinic or community test site by phone or text survey to provide isolation instructions. If you receive a phone call or text and would like to verify it is from our agency, you can call 715-369-6111.
  • Monitor your symptoms and call before visiting your doctor. If you have an appointment, be sure you tell them you have or may have COVID-19.
  • Call your doctor if you have one or more of these health conditions . You may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment. Oneida County Health Department is not able to provide treatment for COVID-19.
  • Tell your employer, school, or child care center about your diagnosis. 
  • If you are having a medical emergency, call 911. Notify dispatch that you have or may have COVID-19.
  • Notify your close contacts. People in your household, and others you had close contact with need to get tested, stay home, and self-monitor for symptoms. See our exposure guidance for details.
  • Take steps to limit the spread of COVID in your household . This means covering coughs and sneezes, wearing a mask around others in your household, avoiding sharing household items like dishes and bedding, washing your hands often, and cleaning “high touch” surfaces  (like counters, doorknobs, and remotes) every day.
  • You don’t need a test to end isolation. If you have access to a test and want to test, the best approach is to use an antigen test towards the end of your 5-day isolation. If you test negative, you can end isolation after meeting the other criteria to stop isolating. If you test positive, you should continue to isolate for your full 10-day isolation period and can stop isolating on day 11.
    • PCR/NAAT tests are not recommended for individuals who recently tested positive because with those tests you can test positive for up to 3 months after your initial positive test.
  • You may receive the opportunity to help researchers learn more about COVID. We are partnering with the CDC and Monash University to learn more about how to prevent COVID-19. If you test positive, you may receive a link to a survey from Monash University after you complete our contact tracing survey. Filling out this survey is appreciated so that researchers can better understand people’s experiences with COVID-19.

Notify your close contacts.

Take steps to limit the spread of COVID in your household.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Wear a mask if you have to be around other people in your household.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes and glasses, or bedding.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day, such as counters, tables, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, and keyboards.

Review our Isolation Guidelines PDF  for more information.

I was exposed to someone with COVID-19

What should I do if I was exposed to COVID-19?
  • First, know that you generally need to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19 to get infected.
  • Get tested at least 5 days after exposure, monitor for symptoms, and wear a mask around others in your home and in public indoor spaces for 10 days, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.

Close contact includes:

  • Living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, OR
  • Being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 15 minutes (with or without a mask), OR
  • Someone with COVID-19 coughing on you, kissing you, sharing utensils with you or you had direct contact with their body secretions.
If you:Then:
Have been boosted OR Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months.Wear a mask around others for 10 days since your last contact. Test on day 5, if possible. Find testing options on our website.
​​​​If you:Then:
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted OR Are unvaccinated.Stay home and quarantine for 5 days since your last contact. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. If you can’t quarantine, you must wear a mask around others for 10 days. We strongly recommend quarantine as the safest option to prevent the spread of COVID. Test on day 5, if possible. Find testing options on our website.

Review our Quarantine Guidelines PDF  for more information.

Someone in my home is sick from COVID-19

  • Review our fact sheet PDF  to see our recommendations and calculate quarantine for the members of your household.
  • The sick person should be in their own room and should have their own bathroom, if possible. They should have the door closed, and food and other needs should be left outside their door for them to pick up.
  • The CDC has additional guidance for how to clean and disinfect your home  if someone is sick, including how to clean surfaces, linens, dishes, and trash.
  • The CDC also has information about how to minimize risk if you live in a house with close quarters  (e.g., small apartment with more than one person or a house with multiple generations).

I’m a health care worker

Health care workers are subject to different recommendations due to widespread exposure to COVID-19 and their critical role.

Health care workers may follow CDC guidelines  for critical workers if their employers want them to return to work.

Learn More About COVID-19