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‘Do I need a negative test to go back to work?‘ Dr. David Holcombe answers FAQs about COVID-19

Dr. David Holcombe answers some commonly asked questions about COVID-19 testing.
Dr. David Holcombe answers some commonly asked questions about COVID-19 testing.(KALB)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 2:47 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Region Six Medical Director Dr. David Holcombe answered some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 in a press conference held by the City of Alexandria on Friday. Below are some of those questions and answers from Dr. Holcombe.

What is direct contact?

Answer: Being within 3 feet of a person for at least 15 minutes.

When should I get tested for COVID-19?

Answer: Right now, if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If you’ve had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should wait 5-7 days until you get tested. If you get tested too early the virus may not show up on the test. Close contacts of those who have experienced direct contact should also be tested.

How long do I need to quarantine if I’ve tested positive for COVID-19?

Answer: 14 days starting on the day you get your positive test result back.

Do I need to quarantine if I get tested and the result is negative?

Answer: If you’ve had direct contact with someone who is positive, the answer is yes. That’s because the virus incubation period is up to 14 days. You could test negative now, and positive in a few days. There are some exceptions to this rule for essential workers.

Do I need a negative test result to go back to work or school if I previously tested positive for COVID-19?

Answer: The answer is NO, as long as you’ve quarantined for 14 days. Although there could be virus particles in your system, you are no longer contagious after 14 days. Holcombe says employers should not ask employees to get tested a second time, and that unnecessary tests are clogging up the state’s system.

How long will it take to get my test result back?

Answer: Holcombe says the current turnaround time for public testing sites can be up to 10-12 days.

Where can I get a rapid test result?

Answer: Holcombe says some local doctors offices and clinics are offering tests with rapid results, but each location has it’s own rules. Some require you to have symptoms, others may not. These tests could come with a fee.

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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