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 limit the spread of COVID-19 and potentially help get people available treatments.
COVID-19 tests are available in Oregon, but the number of tests available can be affected by supply shortages, especially when there is a surge in COVID-19 cases. Find a free testing site near you, or call 211.
Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 at least 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 you have been fever free for 24 hours and other symptoms are improving. 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 a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Get a booster dose if you’re due. Everyone 6 months and up is eligible for an updated booster dose at least two months after their initial series or at least two months after their most recent monovalent (original vaccine formula) booster dose.
- Find out where and when you can get vaccinated.
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.
- Treatments are available. Visit the COVID-19 treatments page for more details.
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. If you need help finding a health care provider, call 211.
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.
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.
What to do if you test negative for COVID-19
Even if you test negative, take every step 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. And don’t forget that you could also have some other virus that you won’t want to spread. If you are sick, stay home if possible. Talk to your health care provider if you are at high risk for severe disease.