What to Do if You Test Positive for COVID at Home - CNET

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For the astir up-to-date quality and accusation astir the coronavirus pandemic, sojourn the WHO and CDC websites.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising again successful the US arsenic the state approaches 1 cardinal deaths -- a erstwhile unthinkable fig of lives mislaid to the virus. Newer versions of omicron, including BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, person go much contagious and proceed to resistance the planetary pandemic on. 

In this signifier of the pandemic, much radical are investigating for COVID-19 astatine home, acknowledgment to broader availability of at-home accelerated COVID-19 tests. And galore radical are besides experiencing milder symptoms, acknowledgment to COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses, which substantially chopped the hazard of terrible COVID-19 illness and the request for infirmary care.

As much radical bash at-home testing, however, an expanding fig of COVID-19 cases are not reported. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention itself says determination is "currently constricted usage for collecting self-test effect information to pass nationalist wellness surveillance," though the bureau remains assured successful "situational awareness" without the receipt of self-test results.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and at-home trial results are a fewer reasons wherefore experts deliberation the existent lawsuit numbers whitethorn beryllium large underestimations. This year, the CDC changed the mode it monitors COVID-19 risk successful the US to see measures similar hospitalization numbers, wellness attraction capableness and the level of microorganism successful our wastewater. But knowing the lawsuit number successful your assemblage tin inactive beryllium an important instrumentality erstwhile deciding whether it's harmless to spell to a movie theatre oregon dine indoors.

"These at-home accelerated tests effect successful america underestimating the fig of radical who genuinely person COVID," said Keri Althoff, epidemiologist astatine the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "And truthful besides underestimate the fig of what we cognize arsenic our COVID transmission rates per 100,000 population." 

Even though it whitethorn not marque it into the US COVID-19 lawsuit counts, the CDC encourages everyone who tests affirmative to study that effect to their wellness attraction supplier (or nationalist wellness section if you don't person a superior attraction doctor).

 Here's what to bash if you trial affirmative for COVID-19 astatine home, and a brush-up connected isolation and quarantine guidance.

Three radical   beryllium   unneurotic  arsenic  1  drops solution   onto an at-home COVID test Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

2 things to bash you trial affirmative for COVID-19 astatine home 

If you instrumentality an at-home accelerated trial and it turns up positive, presume you person COVID-19. While it's existent at-home accelerated tests are little delicate than the "gold standard" PCR tests (about 10% to 20% little sensitive, according to Hackensack Meridian Health), and much apt to springiness you a mendacious antagonistic result, affirmative results from self-tests are "highly reliable," according to the CDC. 

"If you trial antagonistic connected an at-home trial but deliberation you person COVID-19 due to the fact that you person symptoms oregon were exposed, see investigating again 24 to 48 hours later," the CDC says. Then, aft a mates of spaced-out antagonistic tests, you'll beryllium capable to consciousness much assured that your antagonistic effect is genuinely negative.

There are 2 important steps to instrumentality aft a affirmative location trial result.

Follow the CDC guidance connected isolation

Once you trial positive, commencement pursuing the CDC's guidance for isolating (staying distant from others if you're sick oregon trial affirmative for COVID-19). 

Regardless of your vaccination status, the CDC advises staying location for astatine slightest 5 days, with Day 0 being the time that you tested positive. You should besides isolate from radical successful your home, oregon deterioration a well-fitting disguise if you can't debar others. You tin extremity your isolation aft 5 days, arsenic agelong arsenic your symptoms are gone oregon improving and you've been fever-free for astatine slightest 24 hours. However, you should inactive deterioration a disguise and debar question for astatine slightest 10 days. 

Report to your doc oregon wellness department 

If you trial affirmative with an at-home COVID-19 test, telephone your superior attraction doctor, Althoff said. Not lone volition your doc beryllium capable to nonstop you to treatments similar Paxlovid if you're astatine precocious hazard for terrible COVID-19, but successful immoderate cases, your clinician volition person a strategy astatine their disposal that allows them to funnel a self-reported trial effect into authoritative COVID-19 counts.

But it's a batch little apt your COVID-19 effect volition extremity up successful your state's authoritative number than if you were to trial affirmative a 2nd clip astatine the doctor's office, oregon astatine a wide investigating tract oregon clinic, according to Althoff. 

"Calling your doc and giving them that accusation is important for your idiosyncratic health, but we shouldn't misconstrue that to deliberation that that accusation is present going into our surveillance systems," she said. 

Many states person mandated the reporting of COVID-19 trial results, Althoff said, but those tests are typically done successful objective settings. The accusation coming from a laboratory that processes a PCR test, for example, past goes consecutive to the wellness department; these are "established systems," she says. Even if you study a trial from location to your wellness department, it's often lacking indispensable information needed for an authoritative study per the CDC. "The information constituent itself and the information operation are different," Althoff said.

Still, you should telephone your wellness section oregon doc to study a affirmative at-home trial result. (Here's a list of wellness departments successful the US.) You tin besides cheque successful straight with your region oregon metropolis to spot if they person a much nonstop mode to study a trial result. Some areas, similar Washington state, person direct hotlines for reporting an at-home COVID-19 positive. 

You whitethorn besides beryllium asked to supply further accusation to the wellness section if you telephone oregon email it in, similar your property and vaccination status.

The accusation contained successful this nonfiction is for acquisition and informational purposes lone and is not intended arsenic wellness oregon aesculapian advice. Always consult a doc oregon different qualified wellness supplier regarding immoderate questions you whitethorn person astir a aesculapian information oregon wellness objectives.

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