Understanding Your COVID-19 Test Results
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COVID-19 Test Results Explained
Positive COVID-19 Virus Test - FAQs
What does a positive COVID-19 test mean?
A positive test result means that you currently have an active COVID-19 infection.
How accurate is this test?
Tests are measured commonly by the following two accuracy metrics: sensitivity and specificity. This very accurate test has a sensitivity and specificity that are both greater than 99%.
Whose result is this? Mine or my family members?
We have sent this text message to the phone number listed in the patient’s medical record. If multiple patients have the same phone number listed, individual results can be obtained by creating personal Quest Laboratory accounts (using a different email address for each person tested). Click on this link to sign up each family member: My COVID-19 Results.
If you cannot access your lab results, please:
If you experience a delay from Quest, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The patient’s full name
The patient’s date of birth
Please state that we may reply to your email with unencrypted test results (this item is optional and only if you are comfortable).
When can I return to work or school?
All three of the following CDC clearance criteria must be met:
At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. If you did not have any symptoms, it must be 10 days from the date you were tested.
You have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Your other symptoms have improved (e.g. your cough is much better).
What should I tell people with whom I have been in contact?
The CDC recommends notifying anyone who has been exposed to you within 48 hours prior to your symptoms starting (or before testing positive, if you are symptom free). Anyone who was in close contact with you during your 10-day isolation period (see the CDC guidelines in the previous section) should either be tested or self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with you during your isolation period.
What if I don’t have any symptoms?
Many people (especially younger patients) who test positive for COVID-19 will not experience any symptoms. Please continue to isolate for 10 days from the date you were tested.
Should I be retested?
At this time, the CDC recommends against retesting COVID-19 positive patients within 3 months of their positive test. Many patients have prolonged shedding of inactive virus. Patients who have met the clearance criteria have not been shown to be infectious even as they continue to test positive with residual, inactive virus.
Someone I live with tested negative, should we social distance/wear masks?
If a household member tests positive, everyone else in the household should isolate per the CDC guidelines, regardless if they tested negative. If a household member who tested negative develops symptoms during the quarantine it is recommended that (s)he restarts the isolation period from the first day of symptoms. It is best to limit exposure to other members of the household as much as possible. Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask if sharing the same common area is unavoidable.
Can I get a copy of my lab results?
Yes, you may access and print your results from the Quest Laboratories portal, or visit any Total Access location to get a printed copy.
Can I get a work note?
Yes, please visit any Total Access location to pick up a copy or email email@example.com and include the following 3 items:
Patient’s full name
Date of birth
For faster results, please state that we may reply to your email with your unencrypted work note. This is optional and only if you are comfortable.
Can I have my results faxed to my doctor?
Absolutely, please call one of our locations with your physician office’s information, and we will be happy to assist you.