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WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Joan Adam, Secretary of Health

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COVID-19 Self-Testing Guidance

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When to Self-Test for COVID-19

Self-tests for COVID-19 give rapid results and can be taken anywhere, regardless of your vaccination status or whether or not you have symptoms.

When To Take an At-Home COVID-19 Test:Woman using COVID-19 Self-Testing Kit

For guidance on using tests to determine which mitigations are recommended as you recover from COVID-19, go to Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19.

If you test positive
  • A positive test result on an at-home COVID-19 test does NOT need to be confirmed by a medical provider.

  • You do NOT need to report your positive result to the SD DOH.

  • Isolate yourself from others. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home.

  • Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek medical care immediately.

  • If you are at an increased risk of becoming very sick, treatment maybe be available. Contact your health care provider right away if your test result is positive.

  • AT-HOME TESTING GUIDELINES

Quarantine and Isolation Guidance

If you were exposed to COVID-19 or have been told by a healthcare provider or public health authority that you were exposed, there are the steps that you should take, regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection.

Wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed

Start counting from Day 1

  • Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19

  • Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure

Wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 6

Watch for symptoms

CDC GUIDANCE

Quarantine and Isolation Guidance

When to Isolate

Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19. You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results. If your results are positive, follow the full isolation recommendations found here. If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.

When you have COVID-19, isolation is counted in days, as follows:

If you had no symptoms

  • Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result)

  • Day 1 is the first full day following the day you were tested

  • If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset

If you had symptoms

  • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive

  • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started


Ending Isolation

End isolation based on how serious your COVID-19 symptoms were.

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days. Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others at home and in public.

    • If after 5 days you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication, and your symptoms are improving, or you never had symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5.

    • Regardless of when you end isolation, avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until at least day 11.

    • You should wear a high-quality mask through day 10.

    • Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

  • If you had moderate illness (if you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing) or severe illness (you were hospitalized) due to COVID-19 or you have a weakened immune system, you need to isolate through day 10.

  • After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.

CDC GUIDANCE

What to do if you are sick


Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.

  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.

  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.

  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.


Separate yourself from other people

As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask.

Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone.


Monitor your symptoms

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or other symptoms.

  • If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, pale grey or blue-colored skin, lips, or nailbeds), seek medical care immediately.


Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • Call ahead. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.

  • If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.


If you are sick, wear a well-fitting mask

  • You should wear a mask  if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).

  • Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.

  • You don’t need to wear the mask if you are alone. If you can’t put on a mask (because of trouble breathing, for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.

  • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2 years, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is not able to remove the mask without help.


Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

  • Throw away used tissues in a lined trash can.

  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.


Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.

  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.

  • Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Handwashing Tips


Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.

  • Wash these items thoroughly after using them with soap and water or put in the dishwasher.


Clean surfaces in your home regularly

    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom; wear disposable gloves. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but you should clean your bedroom and bathroom, if possible.

    • If you are sick and cannot clean, a caregiver or other person should only clean and disinfect the area around you (such as your bedroom and bathroom) on an as needed basis. Your caregiver/other person should wait as long as possible (at least several hours) and wear a mask before entering, cleaning, and disinfecting shared spaces that you use.

    • Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.

    • Use household cleaners and disinfectants. Clean visible dirty surfaces with household cleaners containing soap or detergent. Then, use a household disinfectant.


When you can be around others after being sick with COVID-19

  • Deciding when you can be around others is different for different situations. Find out when you can safely end home isolation.


 
Resources
  • COVID.gov - Find COVID-19 guidance and resources to protect you, your family, and your community
  • Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) provides no-cost laboratory-based testing to childcare centers, K-12 schools, congregate settings, and other communities who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDC Resources

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