Should I get tested? Where can I get tested? What do I do if I test positive? What if the test is negative, do I still have to quarantine? During these uncertain times we all have questions about what to do surrounding COVID-19 symptoms and testing. Otter Tail County Public Health is here to help make sense of the guidance.

 

Should I get tested?

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested. If you were in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should also seek testing. If you are a close contact, it is recommended to seek testing 5-7 days after your exposure.

 

Where can I get tested?

At this time, testing is provided at multiple local clinics. It is best to call the clinic and determine the best way to access testing. Appointments are often required. For clinics offering testing, please see the Otter Tail County COVID-19 webpage or visit the state of Minnesota COVID-19 Response webpage.

 

When will I get my results?

It will take several days for the clinic to get you your test results. While you are waiting for results, you should stay home and separate yourself from other people in your home as much as possible. Please answer the phone if public health or the Minnesota Department of Health staff calls you.

 

My test results are

positive now what?

Stay home and isolate until:

• You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.

• It has been 10 days since you first felt sick or 10 days from the testing date if asymptomatic.

• You have had no fever for the last 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fever.

 

My tests results are negative, and I was in contact with someone with COVID-19, what should I do?

You still need to stay home for 14 days from your last contact with that person. It can take up to two weeks for a person who was exposed to COVID-19 to become sick, so if you were tested early after being exposed, the test may not have detected the virus yet.

 

My test is negative, I have had no contact with someone with COVID-19, and I do not have symptoms — do I have to quarantine?

No, but you should still wear a mask when you go out and stay 6 feet away from others. A negative test at one point in time does not protect you from becoming sick with COVID-19 later. If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 or develop symptoms, contact your health care provider about getting tested again.

We understand there is a lot of information about what to do and not to do regarding COVID-19 testing and results. Please contact Otter Tail County Public Health at 218-998-8320. We are here to answer your questions and share resources.

Otter Tail County Public Health does not provide COVID-19 testing. Flu vaccines are given by appointment only in Fergus Falls, New York Mills and Ottertail City area. Call to schedule an appointment or visit: ottertailcountymn.us/flu-vaccine/.

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