Updated Aug. 30, 2022
If you have recently been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 or are concerned that you have symptoms, you may be wondering what to do next. Take a deep breath, we’re here to help.
First things first: if you are concerned that you may have COVID-19 because you have symptoms, get tested right away, regardless of vaccination status. If you are concerned that you have COVID-19 because you know you had an exposure to someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19, get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure. If you were exposed and are experiencing symptoms and testing negative, consider getting tested again in another 2-3 days as some tests may not detect an early infection due to low viral load.
Contact your healthcare provider or a nurse triage line about testing or medical advice. If you do not have a provider, see our testing locations page for information about where to get tested. For general questions about COVID-19 testing, visit the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 testing information page to learn more about the process.
If You Are Concerned You Have COVID-19
If you are concerned that you have COVID-19 because you are experiencing symptoms, refer to this page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 by coming into close contact with an individual with COVID-19, please follow the guidance here.
If You Have COVID-19
Stay home except to get medical care, separate yourself from other people and pets, and monitor your symptoms.** This is called “isolation,” which is the most important time to monitor your health and to make sure you don’t spread COVID-19 to others. You should also wear a mask, wash your hands often, avoid sharing personal items and regularly sanitize high-touch surfaces. If you have questions about your condition, contact your healthcare provider or refer to the following guidance from the CDC and DOH.
- Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19*
- What to Do If You Are Sick is about what to do if you or someone in your care is sick
- See also What to do if you test positive for COVID-19*
*Schools and School Athletics
Schools, child cares and school-related athletic events must follow specific guidance which may differ from the guidance referenced above. See School Guidance here.
**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, bluish lips or face. This is not a complete list of symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
What Happens Next?
Depending on your situation, you may be contacted by Spokane County disease investigators, but as case numbers fluctuate, our team has to prioritize cases, so you may not be contacted. However, you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 even if you aren’t contacted.
It is important for others who may have been exposed to you to be notified You can get a head start on helping your friends, loved ones and community by letting your close contacts know that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Don’t worry, it’s possible to do this while keeping your identity and health information completely confidential by using a secure public health app provided by tellyourcontacts.org. Visit the site to learn more.
Learn more about contact tracing and how you can do your part to protect others and help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Another way you can help your community is by downloading the WA Notify app from DOH. WA Notify works through smartphones, without sharing any personal information, to alert users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. It is completely private and doesn’t know or track who you are or where you go. Click the WA Notify tab above to learn more.
Get Help During Isolation
Need help with groceries, getting medications, childcare or paying bills while you isolate at home? Help is available. Learn about Care Connect Washington.