Fall and winter can mean traveling and gathering indoors with friends and family. These guidelines can help us keep each other safe from COVID-19.


How and where to get tested

COVID-19 Testing in Oregon

Testing helps ensure people who have COVID-19 can get the care and support they need. Testing is an important tool to stop the spread of COVID-19, keep people in Oregon healthy, preserve hospital capacity and safely keep Oregon’s schools open and economy strong.

COVID-19 tests are available in Oregon, but the number of tests available can be affected by supply shortages. Find a free testing site near you, or call 211.

Under Centers for Disease Control guidelines, anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should get a test as soon as possible, regardless of vaccination status. Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes) may seek testing five days after the exposure, even if they don’t show symptoms.

Rapid tests produce results in about 15 minutes. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should stay home and away from other people, including your family, for at least five days. If you have symptoms, you should isolate until 24 hours after your symptoms go away without the help of medication. False negative results are common. A negative result does not mean that you do not have COVID-19. If you’ve been exposed and you test negative, you should continue to practice safe behavior like wearing a mask, washing your hands and staying at least six feet away from other people to protect others.

Testing is only one tool to slow the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination remains the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is important for everyone to:

  • Get vaccinated. Everyone 6 months and up is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Get a booster dose if you’re due. Everyone 5 years old and up is eligible for a booster at least five months after their initial series. Individuals 12 years old and up who received a dose of either Pfizer or Moderna more than five months ago, or a Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago, are due for a COVID-19 booster.
  • Find out where and when you can get vaccinated.
  • Wear masks indoors.
  • Avoid large groups.
  • Physically distance from individuals outside your household.
  • If you spend time with people you don’t live with, stay outdoors to reduce the risk of spread.

These are the best ways to keep ourselves and the ones we love safe.

What to do if you test positive for COVID-19

If you test positive, stay home and away from others, including the people you live with.

If you feel sick:

  • isolate for five days from when you started feeling symptoms AND make sure your fever is gone for 24 hours, without the help of medicine, and your symptoms are improving before being around others.

If you do not have any symptoms:

  • isolate for five days from the day you were tested.

Rest and take care of yourself. Let your clinic or health care provider know if your symptoms get worse.

After five days, you can be around others again if you’re feeling better, but you must still take precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others. You should always wear a mask for an additional five days whenever you’re around other people. Avoid contact with individuals at high-risk for complications from COVID-19 during this period.

Helpline and resources

The Oregon Health Authority has created a helpline for those who have been exposed to, or tested positive for, COVID-19, which is available in multiple languages.

Do you need help, support or have questions about how to isolate? Do you need food?

If you have questions like these, trained professionals may be able to help.

Call 866-917-8881 for:

  • More health information
  • Questions about isolation or quarantine
  • Questions about telling your contacts they may have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Questions or concerns about your ability to isolate

Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You can also call 211 for general COVID-19 questions, how to find testing or vaccines, or help with other resources.

Visit the Oregon Health Authority’s “Did you test positive for COVID-19?” webpage for more information.

If you test negative

What to do if you test negative for COVID-19

Even if you test negative, keep wearing a mask and do everything you can to stay safe. Sometimes tests can be wrong. A test might not detect the virus if you get tested soon after being infected. This means you can have COVID-19 even if the test says you do not. You still need to follow safety steps:

  • Talk to your health care provider and make a plan to stay healthy and be safe.
  • Keep taking important steps to protect others by wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, and washing your hands often.
  • If you visit others, keep the group to six people or less from no more than two households.