What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

Covid testing
Posted at 4:16 PM, Jan 05, 2022

PHOENIX — As omicron continues spreading across the country, more people, including those who are vaccinated, are expected to test positive for COVID-19.

At this point, nearly all evidence points to omicron being the dominant variant in Arizona.

ABC15 talked to health experts who break down what you need to do should you test positive, after a change in CDC guidance.

Dr. Frank LoVecchio, an emergency room doctor at Valleywise Health, says research shows the spread is doubling each day.

“Right now it’s very likely for people to get omicron. It’s very contagious," added Dr. LoVecchio.

ABC15’s Health Insider Dr. Shad Marvasti agrees but says those who have the vaccine are less likely to end up in the hospital.

“If you’re vaccinated and boosted, the hope is that it’s going to be mild as the common cold,” added Dr. Marvasti.

Should you test positive, health experts recommend you isolate and mask up immediately for at least five days.

“This is based on new CDC guidelines that went down from 10 days to five days. You’re most contagious in the three or four days,” Dr. LoVecchio told ABC15.

They say it’s still best practice for those who are positive to quarantine in a room, use their own bathroom, and stay away from loved ones, including pets.

“We have not seen, so far, a human getting it from a pet…but the pets can definitely get it from you,” added Dr. Marvasti.

They also recommend you report the positive test.

They advise you to let your boss know, tell your doctor (particularly) if you have an underlying condition, and notify those you’ve recently been in close contact with. According to the CDC, that is anyone who was less than six feet from you for 15 minutes or more.

“It’s not your fault. No one should feel ashamed of getting COVID at this point. If you leave the house and go to any public setting, you are at high risk of getting COVID,” Dr. Marvasti told ABC15.

If you have been isolated for five days and still have symptoms, health experts recommend you get tested again.

“If you’re positive then, then the CDC recommends you quarantine for the full 10 days,” said Dr Marvasti.

If you test negative for COVID-19 with an at-home rapid test, but still have symptoms:

“You probably still have COVID and you need to get the PCR test, and until you get the PCR test and are able to get the results, you should act as if you have COVID,” added Dr. Marvasti.

Regardless of test result status, health experts say standard COVID protocol is still your best bet to protect yourself against the virus.

“Wear a mask, social distance, and now…get a booster,” Dr. LoVecchio told ABC15.

For more information on COVID-19 in Arizona, click here.