Your COVID home test is positive. Now what?

I tested for COVID-19 using a home test, and the results were positive.

what are you doing now?

Do you need a PCR test to confirm? Should you call your doctor? Health department?

Here’s what health experts say.

Do you need a PCR test to confirm? It depends.

Rapid antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, but the biggest problem with rapid tests are false negatives versus false positives.

Especially if you have symptoms of COVID-19 — cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, and/or loss of taste and smell — a positive at-home test result is likely to be very accurate, says the federal Centers for Disease Control. It “indicates that you may have an existing infection.”

Although many people follow up with a PCR test for confirmation, it’s not necessary, said Dr. Kristin Nevsey, chief medical officer of Traverse City-based Monsoon Healthcare. “

If you can work from home and you have a positive antigen test, I will assume it’s positive and stay home and hide and isolate you and all that kind of stuff,” she said. Do more tests.”

Contact your local health department.

Nefcy said that in some cases, home testing includes an app that notifies public health authorities. But if it does not, “we strongly encourage you to contact your local health department to report a positive result.”

There are two reasons for this. One is for the public health nurse to be able to review your symptoms and living conditions, and give advice on how to isolate and whether you should seek medical treatment.

“But it’s also important from an epidemiological perspective, so we know the rate of positivity there,” Nefsi said.

Call your primary care doctor.

It’s also important to give your primary care physician a heads up because COVID can affect your long-term health and you want it to be a part of your health record.

“If you just took a test and never reported a positive result, you will have a much harder time from an insurance perspective” if you develop complications or symptoms of long-term Covid, Nefcy said.

Also, people at high risk of severe COVID – which may include people 65 years of age or older; They have co-morbidities like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and/or compromised immunity — they’ll want to ask their doctor about treatments like monoclonal antibodies or new antiviral pills from Pfizer and Merck designed to keep people out of the hospital.

However, these treatments must occur as quickly as possible in order to be effective.

Nefcy said these treatments are “intended for high-risk patients early in their diagnosis of COVID 19 as a precaution so that they do not become ill.” “It’s not an option for people who are already in the hospital.”

Notify your contacts

People with COVID-19 are usually contagious about 48 hours before symptoms appear. So if the test result is positive, you should notify the people you may have been exposed to.

Close contacts are defined as “those within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period (eg.And Three 5-minute single exposures for 15 minutes), “according to CDC guidelines.” “Any infected person can spread COVID-19 starting two days before they develop any symptoms (or, if they are asymptomatic, two days before the sample collection that tests positive), until they meet the criteria for discontinuation of isolation in the home.”

Close people who have not been fully vaccinated know that they must quarantine for 10 to 14 days. This means they should stay home and away from others during this time, says the CDC.

Close contacts who have been fully vaccinated do not need to be quarantined, but should continue to wear a mask around others and be tested five to seven days after exposure.


People who test positive for COVID-19 need to isolate for at least five days, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.

This means that they must stay at home, separate themselves from others at home or wear an appropriate mask when they are near others.

“Isolated people should stay in a designated ‘sick room or area’ and use a separate bathroom if available. Everyone who has assumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate from other people for at least five full days (Day 0 is The first day of symptoms or the date of the day of positive viral testing for asymptomatic people),” the CDC guidelines say. “They should wear a mask when they are around others at home and in public for an additional five days.”

Seek immediate help if symptoms worsen significantly.

Severe COVID can develop very quickly. Call 911 if you have:

  • breathing difficulties
  • Constant pain or pressure in the chest
  • new confusion
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

What do you expect in terms of illness.

Dr. Craig Spencer, MD, an emergency physician at Columbia University’s Manhattan Department, recently tweeted a detailed breakdown of what Omicron’s cases look like — and a lot depends on your vaccination status.

“Every patient I’ve seen with Covid and who’s had a third ‘booster’ dose has had mild symptoms. In mild terms I mean mostly sore throat. Lots of sore throat. Also some tiredness, maybe some muscle aches. No trouble breathing. No shortness of breath. It’s all a little uncomfortable, but it’s good,” Spencer books.

“Most of the patients I’ve seen who had two doses of Pfizer/Moderna still had ‘mild’ symptoms, but more than those who got the third dose. More tiredness. More fever. More cough. Overall a bit more miserable. But No shortness of breath. No difficulty breathing. Mostly fine.” He said.

“Most patients I’ve seen have taken one dose of J&J and Covid was worse overall. I felt awful. Fever for a few days (or more). Weak, tired. Some shortness of breath and coughing. But nobody needed hospitalization. Nobody needed oxygen.” Not great. But not life threatening.” chirp.

“Nearly every patient I have cared for has not been vaccinated for admission due to Covid. Everyone has severe shortness of breath. Everyone has decreased oxygen when walking. Everyone needs oxygen to breathe regularly” He said.

Mark Hamed, an emergency room physician who also serves as a medical officer for eight Michigan counties in the Thumb and Northeast Lower Peninsula, said the highly contagious nature of Omicron means that fully vaccinated people are more likely to become infected.

“I think we’re all going to have a date with Omicron or whatever the next alternative is, but you want to go into it very prepared,” he said. This means being fully vaccinated, using a mask and social distancing to reduce exposure to a high viral load.

“We’re all probably going to get exposed unless we just sit at home and do nothing,” he said. “But if you’re prepared, it will be a very mild infection.”

Read more about MLive:

Michigan reports 43 new outbreaks of COVID-19 in January 4 report

How long should you be vaccinated after contracting COVID-19?

Michigan lawsuit challenges Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contract employees

Spread of COVID-19 spurs University of Michigan faculty to push for distance learning

U.S. Air Force medical team arrives to support Muskegon Hospital during coronavirus outbreak

Latest data, Omicron variant of coronavirus now appears in 18 Michigan counties

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