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What to do if you test positive for Covid-19


If you tested positive after taking a rapid home test, you may want to do a second home test using a different brand or visit a testing center to confirm the result. False positives aren’t common with home testing, 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 are tested again. If your positive test comes from a lab, a second test is not necessary.

No. In most cases, you won’t know which variant of the coronavirus you’ve caught, and your lab test usually won’t tell you. In general, the advice on isolation, monitoring, and treatment does not change depending on which variant has infected you.

Think about where you’ve been and who may have inhaled your germs. Contact your employer and let them know. Most workplaces have protocols in place for tracing contact when an employee is positive. You also want to alert anyone you’ve spent time with, coming back at least two days before you get tested or start having symptoms, Dr Sax said. The CDC defines close contact as someone who has been within six feet of you for 15 minutes or more.

It can seem overwhelming, even shameful, to tell people about your positive test, said Dr Ashish K. Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health. “A lot of people think it’s a failure if you get infected,” Dr Jha said. “It’s an incredibly contagious variant. A lot of people are going to get it. It’s not a moral failure.

Remember to tell your doctor as well, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which puts you at higher risk.

If the infected person is a child, call your pediatrician. You should also call your child’s school, as well as anyone they have been in close contact with on play dates, parties, or other activities.

Watch your symptoms. You can use a pulse oximeter to monitor your blood oxygen levels. Most healthy people will get an oxygen reading of around 95-99%. You should see a doctor if the reading drops rapidly or if the level drops to 93 percent or less. Devices may be less accurate for people with darker skin, so watch out for the trend. If your reading drops by four points, it is worth seeing a doctor. You should also see a doctor if you deteriorate, have difficulty breathing, or have any symptom that worries you. You can read more in our story, Why Days 5-10 Are So Important When You Have Coronavirus.