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Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm

Global Statistics

All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
All countries
Updated on August 7, 2022 6:30 pm
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What To Do After Testing Positive For Covid

Stay At Home And Isolate From As Many People As Possible

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 after 1st vaccine shot

You are very infectious and to keep other people safe, you and the people in your household must stay at home and self-isolate for at least 10 days. The only exceptions are key workers who are testing themselves regularly in order to go to work and who continue to test negative. After day 10 you can go out as long as you are well again. Isolating means having no visitors, not going to the supermarket and staying in your house . If you can stay away from other people in your whare/home, do so. It will help to stop the spread of COVID-19 to your whnau. Read more about how to isolate at home or watch the video below.

Is Your Test Result Accurate

During cold and flu season, symptoms like nasal congestion and fatigue don’t necessarily mean COVID-19. But it can be challenging to differentiate among the illnesses, since they share certain symptoms.

A negative result from an at-home test can be very reassuring but know that certain situations and types of tests may require repeat or follow-up testing. As with any kind of medical testing, false negatives and false positives can happen. These decrease the accuracy of a test.

A false negative test means that the test result shows up as negative when the person actually does have COVID-19. This situation is more common with antigen tests, compared with PCR tests.

False negatives can happen due to improper specimen collection, which is why it’s important to perform the test exactly as instructed by the kit. A false negative result can also occur when viral load is low, such as when testing is done too soon after exposure. Additionally, certain strains of coronavirus may have mutations that make them undetectable by the test.

A false positive test means that the test shows a positive result when the person is not actually infected with COVID-19. False positive results are much less common and can happen due to a problem with the test kit itself. They can also occur for a period of time after a person has recovered from COVID-19.

A positive result should not be assumed to be a false positive, and action must be taken when a positive result is received.

Alert Those You Came In Close Contact With

There may be a period of panic after testing positive not just for your own health, but for the health of others you may have been around recently.

As soon as possible, identify anyone with whom you came in close contact while contagious and alert them that you’ve tested positive.

You’re contagious with COVID-19 as early as:

  • Two days prior to symptom onset or testing positive

If you have COVID-19, close contact is defined as:

  • Being within 6 feet of someone for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while contagious

Bottom line: It’s incredibly important to let people know that they have been exposed, so they can take the necessary quarantine precautions and get tested as recommended.

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How Do You Know If You Actually Need A Booster Do Your Antibody Levels Matter

“If you’re eligible for a booster but aren’t convinced you need another dose, consult your doctor. He or she can help you make a decision based on your individual benefits and risks of getting an additional dose,” adds Dr. Sostman.One such way your doctor may choose to help make this decision is to check your antibody levels, also called antibody titers. There are many components to immunity, and antibodies are an important one especially in the early stages of infection.”COVID-19 vaccination elicits robust antibody production in most people, but the levels of these antibodies wane over time,” explains Dr. Sostman. “If you’re unsure whether you need a booster, your antibody titers can be one piece of information your doctor uses while counseling you on your decision. If your titers are very low, a booster shot may be recommended. However, we do not recommend routine use of titer measurements.”

How Do I Manage A Baby Or Child With Covid

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Most children who test positive for COVID-19 can be safely cared for at home by their usual household carers, even if they are not vaccinated. When caring for your child with COVID-19 at home:

  • Dress your child in appropriate clothing, so that they are comfortable not sweating or shivering
  • Give your child plenty of fluids to drink. They may not feel like drinking much so will need your help and encouragement.
  • If you are breastfeeding or formula feeding your baby may want more frequent feeds. Breastfeeding is safe to continue if you and/or your baby has COVID-19.
  • Encourage them to rest and not overdo it
  • Use paracetamol or ibuprofen, only if you think your child is in pain or appears uncomfortable with a fever. Follow the instructions on the label, and do not give more of these medicines than is recommended in a 24-hour period, as this may be harmful for children.
  • Watch your child for signs that their illness is getting worse.

Monitor your child’s condition and if you notice:

  • persistent fever which is not responding to treatment
  • mild breathlessness
  • drinking less than half of what they would normally drink
  • urine output less than half of usual volume, and urine dark in colour
  • moderate vomiting or diarrhoea
  • unable to stand or walk.

If you are concerned that your child is seriously unwell, has difficulty breathing, is severely dehydrated or fainting, please

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I Tested Positive With A Rapid Test What Next

As someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, its important for you to complete these actions:

  • Self-isolate right away.To prevent further spread of COVID-19, its important for you to self-isolate right away. For more details, view Coronavirus : symptoms and testing – Government of Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Ask your household contacts to self-isolate right away. All household contacts need to follow directions outlined here:
  • Reach out to close contacts.Due to the significant surge in COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia, Public Health asks that you notify any social contacts. This includes workplaces, friends, family and anyone with whom you attended a social gathering, event, or extracurricular activities and had close contact during your infectious period. Please tell them to visit for detailed directions on self-isolation and testing based on vaccination status.
  • Note: Public Health will continue to be responsible for notifying close contacts in the following settings:
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Other congregate settings
  • Complete the Report and Support screening form at

    The form will:

  • report your positive rapid antigen test result to Public Health
  • identify people who may need additional support from Public Health
  • Seek medical help if your symptoms get worse by calling 811 or 911.
  • How Should Test To Stay Be Implemented In Light Of The Updated Shortened Quarantine And Isolation Timeframe

    Test to Stay can be implemented by schools as an alternative to traditional quarantine at home by establishing testing protocols to perform at least two tests during the period between close contact notification/TTS enrollment and day 7 after exposure, with the last test occurring 5-7 days after last close contact with a person confirmed with COVID-19. For more information about TTS, visit What You Should Know About COVID-19 Testing in Schools.

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    Tell Your Workplace Or School That You Have Tested Positive

    You must also tell your work manager or education facility head/relevant staff member that you have tested positive for COVID-19 if you were onsite whilst infectious.

    Tell your workplace/school the date of your test, the date you got sick , and the days you were at work/school whilst infectious. They will use this information to assess the risk to your fellow workers or students. Your workplace or school may inform them that they have been exposed to COVID-19, and what action they should take.

    You can tell your manager by phone or text or ask a work friend to tell them for you. If you have attended an educational facility, you can call the main phone number for the campus you attend.

    What To Do After Testing Positive For Covid

    Here’s how long to quarantine after testing positive for COVID

    Heres what you should do after testing positive for COVID-19:

    Step #1: Stay Home Unless Youre Getting Medical Care

    Most people who only show mild symptoms of the virus can recover at home without medical care. Isolating at home will help protect others from getting the infection.

    Some things to remember:

    • Dont visit any public areas or use public transportation
    • Only leave your house to visit a doctor or hospital
    • Make sure you have all of your medicines stocked and easy to access
    • Get plenty of rest
    • Stay in touch with your doctor

    Step #2: Isolate Away from Others

    If you can, stay in a specific room, and away from pets or other people in your home. If you cant avoid someone, wear a mask!

    Step #3: Contact Others Who You May Have Exposed

    Let anyone who mightve come into contact with you know you have tested positive for COVID-19. An infected individual can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours before they experience any symptoms or test positive. If you had close contact with them, they should get tested themselves.

    Step #4: Compile a Mini First-Aid Kit

    Some important things to have on hand include:

    Step #5: Monitor Your Symptoms

    Follow the care instructions from your doctor, and seek emergency help if your symptoms start to get worse or if you experience the following:

    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face

    Step #6: Exercise Proper Hygiene

    High touch surfaces include:

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    Should I Take A Second Test To Confirm The Result

    If you tested positive after taking a rapid home test, you may want to take a second home test using a different brand or go to a testing center to confirm the result. False positives arent common with home tests, but they can happen. Even so, you should assume the positive result is correct, wear a mask and avoid close contact with other people until you get retested. If your positive test came from a laboratory, a second test isnt necessary.

    You Asked We Answered: What To Do If You Test Positive For Covid

    After testing positive for COVID-19, you may wonder what happens next. Stay home to avoid infecting others, even if your symptoms are mild. If you have any questions, call your primary care provider for personalized medical advice.

    • Stay home
    • Dont share things with healthy people
    • Monitor your symptoms
    • Return to work only after recovering

    For additional guidelines, see What to Do If You Are Sick from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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    How To Take Care Of Yourself If You Have Covid

    Contact your regular primary care provider immediately. Let them know that you have been diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19 and are at home to rest and recover. They may have further instructions or be able to answer additional questions you may have as they guide your recovery.

    Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, like water or herbal tea, things that dont contain caffeine or alcohol. Choose foods like soups with lots of liquid. Over-the-counter medications can help to manage your symptoms follow your health care providers instructions, or ask them for advice about medications you may take for your symptoms.

    Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider immediately. If you develop emergency warning signs, get medical attention immediately the same as you would for any emergency condition.For medical emergencies, call 911. Notify the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19.

    Tell Your Workplace And/or Education Facility

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    If you worked onsite while infectious, you must tell your employer/workplace you have tested positive to COVID-19.

    Your employer/workplace will tell other staff who are workplace contacts that they must:

    • get a PCR test if they have symptoms and isolate until they get a negative result

    Workplace exposures – where masks are worn will not be deemed as close contacts- workplaces will not be listed as exposure sites and will not be ordered to close down.

    If you or your child attended an education facility while infectious, you must tell the education facility you have tested positive for COVID-19.

    The education facility will tell other students and staff who are education contacts that they must get a PCR test if they have symptoms.

    To reduce any risk of transmission it is important workplaces and education settings to continue following COVID-safe behaviours.

    • Staying home when unwell and get tested
    • Hand hygiene

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    What If I Am Pregnant And Have Covid

    Pregnant women, who are 14 weeks or more, have a higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

    If you test positive to COVID-19 and you are more than 14 weeks pregnant, it is important that you tell your maternity care provider. This may be your GP, midwife, obstetrician or local maternity service.

    Most pregnant women will be able to safely stay at home while they have COVID-19. During this time, it is important to:

    • Have plenty of fluids, like you would with a regular cold or flu. If you feel unwell, paracetamol can also be taken to help with symptoms. Ibuprofen is not recommended to take while you are pregnant. It is important to mobilise regularly to reduce your risk of developing blood clots.
    • It is important to keep a close eye on your babys movements. Call your maternity care provider immediately if your babys movements change or if you experience:
    • vaginal bleeding
    • sudden swelling of your face and hands
    • you are in labour
    • have any serious concerns about your pregnancy.
  • If you have difficulty breathing, develop chest pressure or pain, have severe headaches or dizziness you should call 000 immediately. Ensure that you tell them you have COVID-19 and are pregnant.
  • After recovering from COVID-19 it is important to continue your regular antenatal care. If you have missed an antenatal care appointment during your self-isolation, reschedule as soon as possible.
  • Are Booster Shots Actually Necessary

    A booster is an additional dose of vaccine that can help prolong protective immunity in someone who responded fully at first, but there’s evidence that protection is declining after some time.

    “In essence, it’s a ‘top-up’ of a person’s antibody-mediated immune response to the first vaccine series,” says Dr. Sostman. “Circulating antibodies are the first line of defense against getting infected or becoming ill if you are infected.”

    Boosters are being recommended because data is showing that protection against mild and moderate COVID-19 via the initial vaccine series declines over time particularly for those who were vaccinated some time ago. Added to that is the concern about the new COVID-19 variant, omicron.

    Fortunately, Pfizer, Moderna and J& J have all announced that laboratory studies indicate that booster doses of these vaccines offer protection against omicron.

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    You May Be Able To Shorten Your Quarantine

    Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine. Options they will consider include stopping quarantine

    • After day 10 without testing
    • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result


    In areas using options to reduce quarantine times, people who are asymptomatic can use a negative test result collected on day five after exposure to exit quarantine on day seven , with additional self-monitoring. The day of exposure is considered day zero .

    For Anyone Who Has Been Around A Person With Covid

    Testing positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated


    Someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes.

    Learn more about close contact.

    Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for 14 days after their last exposure to that person, except if they meet the following conditions:

    Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19 does not need to quarantine. However, fully vaccinated close contacts should:

    • Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until a negative test result.
    • Get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
    • Get tested and isolate immediately if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Self-tests are one of several options for testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 and may be more convenient than laboratory-based tests and point-of-care tests. Ask your healthcare provider or your local health department if you need help interpreting your test results.

    Someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and has subsequently recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms does not need to quarantine. However, close contacts with prior COVID-19 infection in the previous 90 days should:

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    If You’re Still Testing Positive Late Into Your Infection What Should You Do

    As long as you continue to test positive on a rapid at-home test, you should still consider yourself potentially contagious, Kissler said. But exactly how contagious you are “will change depending on where you are in the infection,” he explained.

    People tend to be most infectious right at the beginning of their COVID-19 infection. So by the time you reach day eight, nine, or 10, “you still have the chance to spread to other people, but it’s probably not as much as you did early in the course of your infection,” Kissler said. When you get to that point, you have to start weighing your options.

    It is safest to continue to isolate until you no longer test positive, the experts stressed.

    But that may not be feasible for everyone. And, taking the new CDC guidelines into account, it’s not unreasonable to gradually leave isolation after 10 days even if you’re still testing positive on a rapid test. That’s especially true if you’re fully vaccinated, any symptoms you developed have resolved and you continue to take as many other precautions as you can until you get that negative result.

    You might be able to begin slowly sort of reintegrating while still being mindful of your contact,” Kissler said. He recommends avoiding enclosed spaces with other people and wearing a mask, preferably something like a KN95 or KF94, when coming into contact with others to limit any potential spread.


    This story was updated on Jan. 25, 2022.

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