Get Educated & Protect Your Family

COVID Testing, Isolation,
& Quarantine Guidance

Home Care Guidance for Covid-19 & Flu

Safety & Cost

General Guidance for Viral Illness

If you have symptoms and aren’t feeling well, protect yourself and others with the following:

  • Continue to wear a mask around others and stay distanced from others – even at home
  • Avoid social gatherings
  • Remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Clean surfaces and personal items regularly

To help with symptoms, you can try:

  • Drink warm fluids with honey (if over 1 year old) or warm apple juice (6 months or older). Avoid juices if diarrhea is present.
  • Drink warm broths
  • Use an air humidifier
  • Gargle with warm salt water 3-4 times per day
  • Use saline nasal spray for congestion, irritated nostrils, or sore throat
  • Take Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever or pain
  • Eat Pedialyte popsicles
  • For mild shortness of breath, lay on your belly if able

As a reminder, TCA Health is only able to provide medical advice for registered patients. Call your medical provider if:

  • You are experiencing symptoms and are moderately or severely immunocompromised OR 65 and older and not vaccinated
  • If you receive a positive test and are pregnant, or under 1 year old
  • You don't urinate in more than 8 hours
  • Your symptoms are getting worse 5 or more days into your illness
  • You have a fever over 101º F (38.3º C) that lasts for 96 hours or more, OR if your fever is over 104º F (40º C) and not responding to medication
  • You are unsure if you might be experiencing an emergency

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19.
If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. As a reminder, TCA Health is only able to provide medical advice for registered patients.

When should I test?
  • When you have symptoms. Isolate and test as soon as symptoms appear.
  • When you have been exposed to someone with symptoms or who tested positive for COVID-19.  Plan to take precautions for 10 days. You should get tested 5 or 6 days after you were exposed, and then again 2 or 3 days later.
  • Just to know your status before or after a high-risk event, like going to an event with a lot of people, or traveling, or before a medical procedure.
COVID PCR Testing and Results

TCA Health is able to provide COVID-19 PCR testing for current TCA Health patients, with or without symptoms.

  • Testing is available same day or next day. You will receive your results within 2 to 4 business days.
  • Call TCA Health at 773.995.6300 to schedule a COVID-19 test. We are currently experiencing a high call volume and increased hold times, particularly on Monday mornings and during lunchtime.
  • Please make sure that TCA Health has your current email address and phone number when you make your appointment. The best way to receive test results from TCA Health is through email!
  • If you are pregnant or your child is under 1 year old and your COVID result is positive, you will receive a call from TCA Health. All other positive results will be sent via email within 2 to 4 business days.
  • If your COVID-19 test is negative, you will receive an email or text message within 2 to 4 business days.
  • If you need a return to work, school, or daycare letter and did not receive one at the time of your appointment, please call us at 773.995.6300.

As you wait for your test results, it is important that you make sure you don’t get other people sick. Please read more here about what to do while you wait for results.

You most likely will not have to pay for your COVID-19 test.

  • If you do not have insurance, there should be no cost for a COVID-19 test.
  • The cost of a COVID-19 test is covered under most health insurance plans, including Medicaid.  If you have commercial insurance, please check to see if your plan covers COVID-19 testing.

If you test positive for COVID, have symptoms, and are 65+ and unvaccinated, please call TCA Health.

What the symptoms of Covid-19 infection?

Some symptoms of COVID-19 infection are:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath/Difficulty breathing
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Chills
    • Body aches
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Nasal congestion/runny nose

If you have symptoms, plan to isolate while you wait for your test results.

If you were exposed to COVID-19, review the quarantine guidance under the section I was exposed.

If you currently have or have had any of these symptoms in the last two weeks, a negative test result does not mean that you do not have COVID-19. It is possible that it was a false negative.

Please review the quarantine guidance under the section I tested negative but I have symptoms.

If your symptoms are getting worse, especially if you have difficulty breathing, please call your medical provider. If you are an Erie patient please call us at 773.995.6300 to let us know.

What should I do if I've been exposed?

Quarantine & Test Guidance

If you were exposed to COVID, quarantine. Plan to take precautions for 10 days. The best time to test depends on whether or not you have symptoms. If you do not have symptoms:

If you develop symptoms at any point take a test and stay home. If you test positive, isolate and review our guidance on testing positive.

Note: These are the CDC’s recommendations. However, your job or school might have different rules for how long you need to quarantine if you were exposed to COVID-19, so you should check with them.

I tested negative, but I have symptoms of COVID-19

Quarantine Guidelines for COVID-19 Symptoms and Negative Test Results

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 but have received a negative test result, TCA Health advises you to remain in quarantine (avoiding work, school, or daycare) until the following conditions are met:

  1. You have experienced a full 24-hour period without a fever, without using fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  2. You observe an improvement in your symptoms (note that complete resolution of symptoms is not required).
  3. You satisfy the criteria for returning to work or school as outlined by your school, daycare, or employer's policies.

Upon meeting these criteria, and in the absence of exposure to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should be eligible to return to work, school, or daycare.

Additional Considerations:

  • If your initial test result was negative but you continue to experience symptoms, it is advisable to undergo re-testing 1-2 days after the first test.
  • If you were asymptomatic at the time of testing but subsequently develop symptoms, it is recommended that you take another test as soon as symptoms manifest.
  • Be aware that your employer or educational institution may have specific guidelines regarding the duration of quarantine for individuals with symptoms, so please consult with them.
  • For children under 2 years of age or individuals who are unable to consistently wear a high-quality and well-fitted mask, the quarantine period must last a full 10 days, and early release from isolation is not permitted.
I Tested Positive

Isolation Guidance
If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate.

Everyone, regardless of symptoms or vaccination status should

  • Stay home for 5 full days
  • If possible, avoid contact with others in your household during this time. If not possible, everyone in your household should wear a mask.

IF, after DAY 5,

  • you have no symptoms OR
  • your symptoms are getting better, AND 24 hours have passed without a fever (without the use of medicines to reduce fever-like Tylenol or Ibuprofen),

THEN, you can leave your home with a mask on the following day. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days.

IF, after DAY 5, your symptoms do not improve, stay home until symptoms are improved.

Example of how to count days if you have symptoms:
The first day of your symptoms is DAY 0. Start counting the days 1 FULL day AFTER your symptoms first start.

  • John has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • His symptoms started on January 1.
  • January 1 is symptom DAY 0.
  • January 2 is symptom DAY 1.
  • By January 6 (DAY 5 of symptoms), John's symptoms have improved, so he can return to work 24 hours later on January 7 (DAY 6). If you had a fever, wait 24 hours after your fever ends before you leave home.

NOTE: If you have no symptoms when you took the test, and later develop symptoms, you should isolate for 5 days after symptoms start.

Note: These are the CDC’s recommendations. However, your job or school might have different rules for how long you need to stay home if you test positive, so you should check with them.

Find Answers

Covid Resources & FAQ

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