What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

You have tested positive for COVID-19, now what?

Step 1: Go home and isolate

·      You must isolate for at least 10 full days from the date of your positive test result with at least 72 hours of symptom improvement.

Step 2: Gather a list of names and phone numbers of your close contacts

·      Notify them that they are a close contact and need to quarantine (exception is if they are fully vaccinated).

·      If fully vaccinated, close contacts and household contacts do not need to quarantine.

·      If not fully vaccinated, close contacts must quarantine for 10 days from last date of contact with the positive case.

o   A close contact is a person that was within 6 feet of positive case for more than 10 minutes, with or without a mask.

·      If not fully vaccinated, household contacts must quarantine for 20 days from the positive case’s test date.

o   A positive case is contagious for at least 10 days from their test date, so family members must quarantine for an additional 10 days after their recovery/release from isolation.

o   The local health department can send an official letter to close contacts that they can give to their employer.  We do not have to tell a close contact the name of their positive case that exposed them.

Step 3: A contact tracer from the Riley County Health Department will reach out to the positive case and complete a contact tracing investigation.  They can also send an isolation letter that the positive case can give to their employer. (Please be patient, as our cases are increasing)

o   Sometimes it takes us a few days to receive test results.  The positive case can proactively call the Riley Co. Health Dept. at: Contact Tracing Line: 785-565-6558 or email [email protected]

Step 4: After 10 full days of isolation, if the positive case’s symptoms are improving and they have not had a fever for at least 72 hours, a contact tracer can declare them recovered and no longer contagious. The positive case will then be released from isolation at that time. 

·      The contact tracer can also send a Letter of Recovery stating they have been monitored by the local health department and deemed no longer contagious.  This document can be given to employers, airlines, etc. in place of a negative PCR test (An individual may continue to test positive for up to 6 months after the initial infection. Please do not get retested, trying to get a negative result. It may not happen.)

Show All Answers

1. How can I get tested?
2. How will I be notified of test results?
3. Do you have to have a fever to get tested?
4. How long do test results take?
5. Is Riley County testing for antibodies?
6. Do I have to quarantine after I get tested?
7. What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?