Charlottesville-area health experts share advice for those COVID-19 positive

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 3:04 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - At-home COVID-19 tests are a quick way to find out if you have the virus or not. Health experts in the Charlottesville area are sharing some advice on what to do if one of these tests comes back positive.

Dr. Bill Petri with UVA Health says the first step is to call your primary care physician: “When you do test positive, and I hope you don’t, but if you do then what you want to do is let your healthcare provider know just so that they’re clued in,” he said.

Aaron Silverman with the Blue Ridge Health District says the first call is important to make so officials can accurately report the number of positive COVID-19 cases they have.

“They know how best to handle that piece of information and how to report it to the state infectious disease database,” Silverman said.

After that, Petri and Silverman both say you should call anyone you’ve been in close contact with recently.

“Whether it’s an at-home test or through a laboratory, yes, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 please reach out to anyone that you have been in close proximity with for up to two days prior to when you started to feel sick,” Silverman said.

After making those calls, the next step is to quarantine for 10 days. Although Dr. Petri says generally most people who are vaccinated do not need medical treatment, he did share some signs to look out for: “The symptoms to be concerned about with COVID-19 are going to be like high fevers, and shortness of breath,” he said. “That could be a sign that you’re getting pneumonia from COVID, then that would be the reason then to go in to see your PCP or go into the emergency room.”

Once out of quarantine, you may continue to test positive, but that does not mean you are contagious.

“You do not need to keep isolating at home after those 10 days have passed. Some people do continue to test positive up to 90 days after their first positive test. That does not mean that you still have COVID,” Silverman said.

The best protection against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted.

“If you’ve been vaccinated and boosted, even if you are in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine. That’s how good the vaccine is,” Petri said.

Petri says if you do test positive with an at-home test you are not required to get another PCR test.

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