Q: Someone I know tested positive for COVID-19. How do I know if I was exposed?

A: Criteria for exposure to COVID-19 are as follows:

  • Exposure occurred during the infectious period, which begins 48 hours before the onset of infection (beginning of symptoms or date of positive test, whichever occurred first) and extends until at least 10 days have passed from the onset of infection and symptoms have been resolved for at least 24 hours without medication.

  • During exposure, you were within 6 feet of the individual for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes or more OR you had direct contact with infectious secretions such as respiratory droplets for any period of time

  • You are still considered a close contact even if you and/or the individual wore masks during the exposure. While masks are excellent risk reduction tools, they do not eliminate risk for transmission.

Q: I was notified that I am a close contact to someone who tested positive for

 COVID-19. What do I need to do for quarantine?

A: The appropriate steps following exposure depend on if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19

  • Fully vaccinated: If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least 14 days have passed since completing a full primary series with one of the COVID-19 vaccines, at the time of exposure), the following steps are strongly recommended:

    • Monitor for any symptoms of illness for 14 days

    • Obtain testing 3-5 days after your exposure

    • Wear a mask at all times when around people outside of your home

    • If you experience any symptoms of illness, immediately begin isolating and seek testing as soon as possible

    • Other suggestions: 

      • Avoid contact with vulnerable populations (older/younger people, people with high risk underlying conditions, people who have not been vaccinated)

      • Stay home as much as possible, such as when not working

  • Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated: If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of your exposure, you are required to quarantine.

    • Detailed quarantine guidance is available HERE

Q: Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

A: There are a number of local testing sites, as well as self-tests, which can be purchased at local pharmacies.

Q: I tested positive for COVID-19 at a testing site. What should I do?

A: You are required to isolate if you have tested positive. Detailed isolation guidance is available HERE

Q: I tested positive for COVID-19 with a self-test I performed at home, or someone in my household tested positive with a self-test I performed for them. What should I do?

A: Results of self-tests performed without medical supervision should always be confirmed by medically proctored PCR tests. 

  • If you test positive with a self-test at home, please take the following steps:

    • Obtain a confirmatory PCR test within 48 hours of the self-test to verify the results 

    • Isolate yourself while you are waiting to confirm your results, and continue to isolate if the confirmatory test is positive

    • Notify your close contacts of their exposure and advise them to seek testing

  • If you obtain a negative PCR result within 48 hours of the positive self-test, this result outweighs the self-test result. You no longer need to isolate and your contacts no longer need to quarantine or seek testing

  • NOTE: Positive self-tests can not be used for any official purposes, including the following:

    • Leaving quarantine early following exposure to COVID-19

    • Ruling out COVID-19 in the presence of new symptoms, for the purposes of safely returning to school, work, and other activities

    • Qualifying for COVID-19 recovery exemptions for the purposes of quarantine exemptions, travel exemptions, medical procedures, private vaccine and testing requirements, etc.

Q: Do I need to re-test/test negative in order to complete isolation after my positive test?

A: Negative tests are not required, and should not be required, to end isolation following a positive COVID-19 test. The following criteria do need to be met to compete isolation:

  • At least 10 days have passed since onset of infection (date of symptom onset or date of positive test, whichever comes first)

Do you have another question that isn't on this list?

To email questions related to COVID-19 tests, quarantine, and isolation to the public health nurse, CLICK HERE.