Protect Your Nest

You have been tested for COVID-19. What now?

Protect your family, friends, and community while you wait for your COVID-19 test results.


  • If you were tested due to exposure to COVID or are symptomatic, limit interaction with those around you. Stay home except for medical care.
    Stay in a separate room, like a bedroom, away from others in your home. Use a different bathroom if you can. Sinks could be an infection source—avoid placing toothbrushes directly on the counter surfaces.  Whoever lives in your home should stay at home too.  Make a list of close contacts you have had starting two days before your symptoms began. 
  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering. Make sure it covers your nose and mouth. Remember to stay 6 feet away from people and pets. People who are near you should also wear a mask or cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth.
  • Use meal or grocery delivery services when possible or ask family and friends for help.
  • Clean and disinfect things you touch, like light switches, doorknobs, tables and remotes.
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
    • If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterwards.
    • If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus in the air.
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.
  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover cough and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then wash your hands.
  • Consider people living with you. If you live with someone with health conditions, think about whether there are other places you can stay while you get well.

If exposed or symptomatic, do not:

  • Don’t leave home, unless you need medical care. Do not go for walks or have visitors.
  • Don’t share personal items. Things like dishes, towels, and bedding should not be shared, even with family.  Non-disposable food services items used should be handled with gloves and washed with dish soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.  Don’t share cigarettes, vape pens, or marijuana.   
  • Don’t use public transportation, if you have another choice. 

If your COVID-19 test result is POSITIVE, continue to follow the above steps (Isolation) to protect others plus:

  • Answer your health department’s call. They will reach out to begin contact tracing. They can also answer your questions.
  • Watch for severe symptoms or other health emergencies. If you need to call 911, tell them you have COVID-19.
  • After 10 days you may end isolation if you meet these criteria:
    • Have not had a fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
    • Other symptoms, like cough or shortness of breath, have improved.

Contact Tracing: If you get a call from your local health department or MI COVID HELP, answering your phone is important to protect your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers.

  • Your name will not be shared with anyone.
  • You will never be asked for personal identification like a Social Security number, driver’s license, immigration status or credit card information.
  • The contact tracer will ask how you are feeling and about people you were in contact with recently. They can also share tips to protect others.

What counts as a close contact?  These people should quarantine for 14 days and contact your medical provider about testing.

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

If your COVID-19 test result is NEGATIVE:

  • If you had a known exposure to a confirmed case, continue to quarantine until 14 days after your last exposure.
  • If you had no known exposure to a confirmed case, and you are symptomatic, you may have another respiratory pathogen that is circulation in the community. Call your doctor. Ask if you should be tested again or for another illness if you continue to have symptoms of COVID-19.  Avoid work and group settings until 3 days after the last day of your respiratory symptoms and fever.
  • If you had no known exposure to a confirmed case, and you are not symptomatic. Continue practicing physical distancing, wearing your clean mask, and washing or sanitizing your hands frequently.
  • If you were asked to quarantine by the local health department continue to do so as instructed.

Help is here for you!

  • If you develop additional symptoms or if your symptoms worsen, please contact your medical provider or call 911.
  • Consider your mental health. Contact a mental health provider or the Employee Assistance Program. The Employee Assistance Program is a free and confidential service that includes three sessions with a Licensed Professional Counselor.
  • Michigan 2-1-1: Visit or dial 2-1-1 to connect with resources in your local community, like housing and financial assistance.

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