Individuals Undergoing COVID-19 Testing

What should you do about work while you wait for test results?

  • Please inform your supervisor at work that you have been tested for COVID-19 and note the date of testing.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms: Notify your supervisor and stay home.
  • If you are not experiencing symptoms: Request guidance from your supervisor on any potential work and patient care restrictions until you know your test results.
  • Avoid using public transportation, rise-sharing, or taxis when commuting.

What should you do to protect yourself while you wait for test results?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day. High touch surfaces may include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • If able to be tolerated (doesn’t cause increased breathing difficulty), wear a facemask if you are sick.

Monitor any symptoms:

  • Note the day any new symptoms begin.
  • Check your own temperature two times a day.
  • Keep a daily record of fever, cough, and additional respiratory symptoms.
  • Seek further evaluation from a healthcare provider via telemedicine or an in-person if your symptoms get worse. Call ahead before visiting your doctor and tell them you have been tested for COVID-19.
  • Even if you don’t experience symptoms, you might make others sick.

Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19 or other medical emergencies:

  • Extremely difficult breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Constant pain or pressure in the chest
  • Severe constant dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Acting confused
  • Difficult to wake up
  • Slurred speech (new or worsening)
  • New seizure or seizures that won’t stop

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Test Results and Notification

  • Depending on the lab where your COVID-19 test is done, the time frame for receiving the test results may vary. Your healthcare provider or testing site can tell you approximately when to expect a result.
  • IDPH is unable to notify individuals directly of any lab results; your healthcare provider will notify you of the COVID-19 test result.

If you test positive for COVID-19, keep your entire household home.

  • Most cases can be cared for at home.
    • Do not go to the hospital to seek care unless you have a medical emergency
  • Do not go to work. Notify your employer of your positive test result.
  • Continue to monitor your symptoms at home as described on the opposite side.
  • Seek medical attention if you develop ANY of the following:
    • Extreme difficulty breathing                                   
    • Difficult to wake up
    • Bluish lips or face                                                    
    • Slurred speech (new or worsening)
    • Constant pain or pressure in the chest                    
    • New seizures or seizures that won’t stop Severe constant dizziness or lightheadedness

What should you expect?

  • Most people experience minor symptoms such as fever and cough.
  • Over-the-counter medications that lesson symptoms of fever and cough may help.
    • It is important to get rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

When does home isolation end?

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and limit contact with others until:
    • You have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using medicine that reduces fevers
      • AND
    • Your other symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours AND
    • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
  • If you have no symptoms but test positive, you may end isolation 10 days after the positive specimen was collected, if no symptoms develop.
  • Some people may need to stay home longer; consult with your healthcare provider.
  • You will need to consult your employer prior to returning to work. Some employers may require negative testing before returning to work.
  • For information on household contacts, refer to the guidance at http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases- and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/personal-guidance-and-testing or call 1800-889-3931.

If you test negative for COVID-19

  • You are probably not infected at this time. However, you could have been exposed and test positive later.
  • You must continue to practice all the protective measures to keep yourself and others negative.
  • As long as the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading in your community, continue to follow recommendations to protect yourself, including:
    • practice social distancing, wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and avoid social gatherings according to local guidance.
  • Follow guidance from your healthcare provider and your state and local health departments.