In an effort to help keep the community informed, here are some directives from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) of what to do next if you test positive for COVID-19.
I got my COVID-19 test results back and they told me I am positive. What should I do?
If you test positive for COVID-19, don’t panic. Many people who have COVID-19 have mild illness and can be managed at home without needing to be in the hospital or receive additional care. Your healthcare provider may contact you to ask additional questions. You may be contacted by your local health department to interview you about where you may have gone and who may have had close contact with you while you were ill. This information will be helpful to them in determining if others around you should be evaluated for COVID-19 and should seek care.
After your diagnosis you will be asked to isolate yourself at home until 7 days after you first developed symptoms AND 72 hours (3 days) after your fever has ended without the use of fever-reducing medications and your symptoms have significantly improved (whichever period is longer). If you have trouble figuring out when to stop isolation, contact your local health department (732-615-2195) or your healthcare provider. If you are in home isolation and your symptoms are worsening, contact your healthcare provider and seek advice. If you are under home isolation, experience a medical emergency and need to call an ambulance, dial 9-1-1 and alert dispatch that you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently isolating at home.
If you live with other people and they were not tested, they should keep their distance from you. This includes not eating meals together and not sitting around the house together. Practice social distancing as much as is possible (stay at least 6 feet from each other).
I tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do about the other people in my home? Do they need to be tested?
If there are other people in the home, they should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.
• If they are symptomatic (sick; have COVID-19 symptoms), they should also self-isolate for 3 full days (or 72 hours) have passed since they had a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND other symptoms are greatly improved AND at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first started. If the symptoms are mild, they should recover at home. Testing may not be recommended.
• If the symptoms worsen and a medical evaluation is needed, contact your health care provider.
• If they are asymptomatic (not sick; have no COVID-19 symptoms), they should self-quarantine for 14 days AFTER any sick person in the household’s self-isolation period ends. If the asymptomatic person develops symptoms, they should follow the self-isolation instructions above.
What if I’m a close contact to someone with COVID-19 but I’m not sick and I don’t have symptoms?
You should stay in self-quarantine at home and monitor your health for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school and should avoid public places during this time period. If the person with COVID-19 lives in your home, do your best to separate yourself from them until they are taken off their home isolation instructions. If you cannot separate yourself from them and continue to have close contact then you will need to remain at home and self-quarantined for 14 days after the person with COVID-19 is released from their home isolation. Click HERE to read more about what it means to be a "close contact" and for guidance.
PLEASE NOTE: Federal and NJ State laws strictly prohibit the release to the public of private health information of any individual, including the name, address or any other identifying information specific to those who test positive for COVID-19. The Middletown Health Department acts at all times in accordance with all applicable municipal, county, state and federal laws. The individuals who have tested positive have been contacted by the Middletown Township Health Department, are under isolation from the public and are being continuously monitored as per NJDOH and CDC requirements to ensure compliance with all local, county, and state protocols and the protection of our community.