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FAQ: Covid Testing, Quarantine & Isolation 

published: 08/03/2020 1:43 PM

updated: 11/24/2020 10:26 AM

Who should get tested for COVID-19?

A person who is experiencing symptoms that could be COVID-19 is strongly encouraged to get tested. We recommend that you first contact their healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms

A person who has recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19 may consider getting tested. Please note that it is necessary to quarantine for 14 days after an exposure, even if a test returns negative.  Testing negative for COVID-19 does NOT mean you can end your 14 day quarantine early.

If I tested negative, does it mean I definitely do not have COVID-19?

COVID-19 testing only informs you if you have COVID-19 at the time of testing; one may test negative and be exposed subsequent to the test. For exposed individuals, it is important to continue following quarantine guidelines for 14 days after the exposure and carefully watch for symptoms.

What do quarantine and isolation mean? What is the difference?

  • In both quarantine and isolation, you should stay home and separate yourself from others in the home as much as possible. Do not go to visit others or to communal gatherings, including shul.
  • Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. You should quarantine if you have been around someone who was determined to have COVID-19. Quarantine should last 14 days from the last known exposure to that person. Click here to learn more about quarantine
  • Isolation separates people who are infected with the virus away from people who are not infected. You should isolate if you developed symptoms concerning for COVID-19 or if you tested positive for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms. Isolation usually lasts 10 days from the start of symptoms or the positive test results. Please contact your healthcare provider to discuss how long you should isolate for. Click here to learn more about isolation

I spent time with someone who found out she is positive for COVID-19. Am I considered exposed?

You are considered exposed if you spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of an infected individual, when he or she was symptomatic, or within three days before he or she developed symptoms or tested positive.

Why does quarantine last 14 days?

The vast majority of those who will develop symptoms (after being exposed to an infected person) will do so within 14 days. Not everyone has the same infection timeline, though. Some will get sick (develop symptoms) earlier in that time frame, and some later. People become contagious to others anywhere from 24 to 72 hours before they develop symptoms.

Can I take a test to stop quarantine early?

For someone who has had a true exposure to COVID -19, testing is not recommended as a way to end quarantine early, because it will likely miss people who will later become positive. This could lead to many people assuming they are negative and unknowingly infecting others

For example: Ari gets tested on day 5. The result is negative. He goes to a social gathering on day 8, but then goes on to develop symptoms on day 9. Without knowing it, he may have exposed many people to COVID-19. The negative test result at day 5 was a “false negative” – it was just too early in the course of the infection, and there was not enough virus present in the nose to create a positive test result.

(There may be times when early testing is appropriate. Please reach out to your healthcare provider if you are unsure whether this could apply to you.).

If someone already had COVID-19, do they still need to quarantine if they are exposed?

The CDC recently announced that an individual who was sick with COVID-19 within the last 90 days does not need to quarantine after being exposed to someone with a current COVID-19 infection. Please note that these individuals are still advised to wear a mask and to social distance per general recommendations.

I was exposed to a person with COVID-19, but I have not developed symptoms or tested positive. Do my family members have to quarantine? Can they go to shul or camp?

Only the person who was directly exposed to COVID-19 needs to quarantine. He or she should ideally quarantine away from others in the house, when able. As long the exposed individual does not develop symptoms, other household members do not need to quarantine. This means if one child is quarantined and everyone is healthy, the other siblings may go to camp and the parents may go to work. If the exposed individual displays symptoms of COVID-19 and/or tests positive for COVID-19, then the entire family should quarantine at that time.

How do I Obtain the Results of My Test?

PCR (24-48 hr) Tests:
Results are usually available within 24-48 hours. You can access your results here: https://results.accureference.com/patientportal/index.html

You will need to click on “I DO NOT HAVE AN ACCESS CODE” in order to
obtain one. You will use the Name, DOB and cell number you listed on the lab form you completed.

You will not be able to access the patient portal until the results are loaded. If you try to access the portal prior to the upload of tests, a pop up will show with “The information you entered does not match with the information we have in our system”.

If you are having difficulty accessing the patient portal after 48 hours please call 908-474-1004, then press 1 and then 1. If you still have an issue, you can email the lab directly at Shimon.lobel@accureference.com.

For any other questions relating to the testing, email jcomm.covidtest@gmail.com

Note: If you were tested with a rapid and were positive, they will NOT also run a PCR test.

Rapid Testing Results:
If you took a rapid test, you should receive a call with your results in 1-2 hours. If you did not receive a call, you can email rapidtesting@hatzalahbaltimore.org or you can call 443-961-7285.

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Questions? Contact via email at medical@jcovid.com