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What You Should Do After Being Tested for COVID-19

 
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Even if your rapid (antigen) test for COVID-19 is negative, there are important steps to take if you have symptoms while you wait for your PCR test results.

You must isolate at home until PCR test results arrive if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are a contact of someone with COVID-19.

If you are awaiting results from routine screening, but have no symptoms, you may return to work under the guidance of your employer (unless otherwise directed by the Mississippi State Department of Health).

Go Home and Remain Home After Your Rapid Test

Stay home until you receive your PCR results even if your rapid test is negative.

  • Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home to the greatest extent possible. If available, use a separate bathroom.
  • If you must leave your home to seek medical attention, wear a mask.
  • You will receive an email message from your UMMC portal with your test results as soon as they are available (typically 3-5 days).

If You Have Symptoms of COVID-19

Follow these steps when your PCR results arrive.

If your PCR result is positive, you have COVID-19.

  • Continue to isolate at home for 10 days.
  • Do not go to work or leave your home until your isolation period ends. Please let your employer know you have tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be able to return to work until your isolation period ends.
  • Stay away from all persons at your home. COVID-19 spreads easily to others indoors with you.
  • Stay in a specific room away from others in your home. You should use a separate bathroom if available.
  • If you need to be around others in your home, you should wear a face mask and limit your time around them as much as possible. This is very important to minimize the risk of spreading the disease to your family and friends.
  • Follow the isolation instructions and further advice in our Home Isolation Instructions for Those With COVID-19.

When your isolation period is over and your symptoms improve and you are fever-free, you may leave home and return to work. You do not need to be tested again in order to return to work.

If your PCR result returns negative:

  • Stay at home until your symptoms improve and your are fever-free for 24 hours.

If You Are a Close Contact

If you were tested because you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, follow these steps:

If your PCR result is positive, you have COVID-19.

  • Continue to isolate at home for 10 days from the date you took your test (the date your sample was collected). See the isolation steps above for those with a positive COVID-19 test.
  • Follow the isolation instructions and further advice in our Home Isolation Instructions for Those With COVID-19.

If your PCR result returns negative:

  • You should quarantine at home or another appropriate location and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. MSDH recommends a quarantine period of 14 days from your last exposure.
  • Quarantine limits your exposure to others in case you go on to develop COVID-19. There are options for shorter quarantine periods, and working during quarantine if your employer considers you essential and you have no symptoms.
  • Read and follow the steps in our Quarantine Instructions and Options for those with COVID-19 Exposure.
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Last reviewed on May 7, 2020
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U Contact and information

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