What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
Put simply, a positive COVID-19 test means you had the virus when the test was done.
You may be feeling poorly, or you may have no symptoms at all. Either way, a positive result means you could be infectious. You also risk passing the virus on to anyone you come into contact with.
It’s important to follow the government’s COVID-19 guidance to protect your local community (and avoid a hefty fine, too).
If you test positive for COVID-19, here’s a simple step-by-step guide on what to do next:
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate immediately. This is so you don’t pass the infection on to anyone else.
- If you have symptoms, you should self-isolate for 10 days, starting from the first day you experienced symptoms.
- If you aren’t displaying symptoms, you should still self-isolate for 10 days, starting from the day of your test.
During self-isolation, you shouldn’t leave your home for any reason, and you shouldn’t have visitors over either. If you need supplies, you can ask a friend or family member to drop them off at your door. Or you can go online and order home deliveries.
If you live in a house with other people, there are things you can do to protect them from coronavirus.
You should try to stay in one room away from others for your self-isolation period. Ask a member of the household to bring you your meals and eat them in your room. It’s a little sad and lonely, yes. But a necessary measure nonetheless.
Use your own bathroom, too — if you can. And if that’s not possible, use your own towels and carefully clean any bathroom surfaces you’ve come into contact with.
- Help NHS Test and Trace alert your contacts
After you test positive for COVID-19, you’ll probably be contacted by NHS Test and Trace or your local council.
You’ll be asked for the names and contact details of anyone you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started or before you took the test.
Close contact means you were face-to-face with someone, at a distance of one metre or less, for any given time. But if you were one to two metres away from someone else, for 15 minutes or more (in a car, for example), then that counts as close contact too.
The Test and Trace service will then contact these people and ask them to self-isolate on your behalf.
- Update the NHS coronavirus app
When NHS Test and Trace get in touch, you can request a test code. If you have the NHS coronavirus app, you can then use this code to enter in your test result.
Once you have the code, just open the app, click ‘Enter test result’ and type the code in. The app will then notify any app users you have had close contact with over the past 48 hours.
- Tell your friends and family
To support the work of Test and Trace, it’s a good idea to share your positive test result with friends and family. Get in touch with those you’ve been in close contact with in the 48 hours before you took the test or before your symptoms started to show.
Any contacts who fall into this category should self-isolate for 14 days. This is because they could be infectious and they could spread the virus during this period, even if they don’t have the tell-tale symptoms of COVID-19.
- Don’t forget to look after yourself
If you test positive for COVID-19 it’s important to take it easy, as this’ll help you to recover more quickly. Make sure to:
- Get lots of rest
- Drink lots of water
- Eat healthy food.
This gives your body the best possible chance of fighting off the virus.
You can also take paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease any aches and pains and to help manage a fever. If you have a cough, try to avoid lying on your back as this can make you feel worse. And if you are pregnant, or have any pre-existing medical conditions, check with the NHS website before self-medicating.
- Keep an eye on your symptoms
It’s a good idea to monitor any COVID-19 symptoms carefully. If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse and you can’t manage them at home, you should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. The same applies if any breathlessness you’re experiencing is getting worse.
But try not to get too anxious. For the majority of people, COVID-19 is a mild illness that passes relatively quickly.
Received a positive COVID test result? Try not to worry
Testing positive for COVID-19 can be a scare for you and your family. Booking a COVID-19 test for family members or your support bubble can help to put minds at rest.
Book a test easily and get the results quickly, with Corona Test Centre.