We know there are many questions about testing and quarantine with so many cases of COVID-19 in our communities. We offer this information to help you understand what to do. If you still have questions, contact your doctor for guidance.
- When should I get a COVID-19 test?
- Do I need a COVID-19 test before a surgery or procedure, or before being admitted to a Henry Ford Health hospital?
- Why are COVID-19 tests required for patients being admitted to a behavioral health unit or Henry Ford Maplegrove Center?
- Where can I get a COVID-19 Test?
- If I can’t find a place to get a test, can I go to a hospital emergency department?
- When is someone with COVID-19 contagious/able to give someone else the virus?
- Can I use a home test?
- If I test positive with a home test, do I need to go get an “official” test?
- If I test negative, can I go out with no mask/be less careful?
- Do I need to quarantine if I was exposed to a person with COVID-19 but feel fine?
- If I feel fine can I end masking early?
- Are there people who should isolate for a longer period of time with COVID-19?
- If I take a home test and it's positive — what do I do?
- What is “rebound COVID?” What should I do if I have rebound COVID?
When should I get a COVID-19 test?
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- If you have been in close contact with someone who now has COVID-19, get tested 3 – 5 days after you had that contact, even if you do not have any symptoms.
Do I need a COVID-19 test before a surgery or procedure, or before being admitted to a Henry Ford Health hospital?
No, if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, a test is not generally required before surgery, a procedure or being admitted to a Henry Ford Hospital. If you have COVID-19 symptoms in the days before a scheduled surgery, procedure, or hospital admission, contact your provider so a test can be scheduled for you.
Why are COVID-19 tests required for patients being admitted to a behavioral health unit or Henry Ford Maplegrove Center?
These settings are different than hospital care because patients often gather in groups for therapy, socializing or activities. This makes it possible for COVID-19 to spread quickly. For these reasons, a COVID-19 is required before a patient is admitted to these settings. Behavioral health units and Maplegrove also require influenza testing when influenza is in the area. COVID-19 testing guidelines are similar.
Where can I get a COVID-19 Test?
Many sites are available. Henry Ford offers this information to help you find a testing site near you.
When should I go to a hospital emergency department or call 911 for an ambulance?
Go to a hospital emergency department or call 911 if you have severe COVID-19 symptoms: trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in your chest; new confusion; cannot wake up or stay awake; pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone; fever above 103 degrees.
Please know emergency departments are caring for very sick and injured people. Emergency departments are not able to be COVID-19 testing sites. If you can’t find a test right away, a better idea is to stay home until you are able to get tested, either at a testing site or with a home test.
When is someone with COVID-19 contagious/able to give someone else the virus?
People are contagious two to three days before they start to feel sick or test positive, and then for at least five days after they feel sick or have a positive test.
Can I use a home test?
Yes, home tests are a good option.
- If your home test is positive (if it says you have COVID-19), believe it and isolate, even if you feel fine. There is no need to test again unless you have another reason, for example, your employer requires it.
- If your home test is negative, it does not mean you do not have COVID-19. You can still have the virus.
- If you took a test because you were around someone who has COVID-19, you should continue to watch for symptoms and wear a mask when around others for a total of 10 days after you were exposed.
- If you took a test to be sure you do not have COVID-19 (maybe you are visiting an elderly or sick person, you are going to a gathering, or felt sick), do not ignore all other precautions. You should still wear a mask when recommended, social distance, and wash your hands often.
If I test positive with a home test, do I need to go get an “official” test?
You do not need to test again.
If I test negative, can I go out with no mask/be less careful?
People take tests for many reasons, for example, before gatherings, before visiting a sick or elderly loved one, because they feel sick, or before international travel. These are all good reasons to take a test. However, if the test is negative, do not assume you cannot have or get COVID-19.
Keep in mind you may have tested negative but are in the very early stages of COVID-19, before the test can tell you if you have the virus. Even if you test negative, you should still wear a mask when recommended or required, social distance, wash your hands often, and avoid crowds. You still need to use common sense and continue to be careful so you do not get COVID-19 or unknowingly spread it to others.
Do I need to quarantine if I was exposed to a person with COVID-19 but feel fine?
No, guidelines released by the CDC in August 2022 state that you no longer need to quarantine at home, away from others, if you were around a person with COVID-19. You can go to work, attend school and be in other settings around people. However, you should:
- Wear a mask that fits well – ideally an N95 or equivalent – for 10 days following your exposure whenever you are around other people.
- Test at least five days after the exposure.
- If you test negative, continue masking for the 10-day period.
- Be careful not to be around someone who is especially vulnerable to severe COVID-19, such as an elderly or immunocompromised person, for the 10-day period.
If you develop symptoms, test again. If you test positive, you need to go into isolation.
If I feel fine can I end masking early?
You can end your 10 days of masking early if you take two rapid tests 48 hours apart and both are negative. For example, on day five, if your rapid test is negative, you could take another test on day seven. If it's negative too, you no longer need to mask after that.
Are there people who should isolate for a longer period of time with COVID-19?
Yes, you should isolate through day 10 if you:
- Had moderate illness (shortness of breath, difficulty breathing)
- Had severe illness (you were hospitalized)
- Have a weakened immune system
Talk to your doctor if you had severe illness or have a weakened immune system about when to end isolation.
If I take a home test and it’s positive – what do I do?
- Stay home and isolate for 5 days from the date of your positive test or from when you first had symptoms. Get plenty of rest, drink fluids, and take Tylenol or other pain relievers and decongestants for your symptoms.
- Visit the CDC Quarantine and Isolation web site for detailed information about what to do: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html. This web page also has a Quarantine and Isolation Calculator tool to help you determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19.
- Call your doctor for guidance if you are not feeling well.
- Tell people who were around you in the last 2-3 days that you tested positive for COVID-19.
- Wear a mask if you have contact with people in your home.
- If you feel well, you can do activities such as work from home.
- If you have severe symptoms, go to an emergency department: trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in your chest; new confusion; cannot wake up or stay awake; pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone; fever above 103 degrees.
What is “rebound COVID?” What should I do if I have rebound COVID?
“Rebound” COVID is when a person has COVID, recovers, then develops symptoms again. It is associated with the antiviral Paxlovid, but could also happen in people who did not receive a COVID-19 treatment. If you test positive again, the clock resets. The day you test positive you should begin another five days of isolation and mask until after day 10, just as you did the first time.