What to do if You’re Waiting for COVID-19 Test Results

Published by Minnesota Department of Health on 5/21/2020

If you are waiting for results from a COVID-19 test, you must separate yourself from others and watch yourself for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. This is to protect yourself, your family, and your community.


The clinic that did your testing will get the results to you. It can take several days for test results to come back. Do not call the Minnesota Department of Health to get your test results.

Separate yourself from others

  • Stay home. Do not go to work, school, or any other place outside the home. If you need medical care, follow the instructions below.

  • Stay away from other people in your home. As much as possible, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Wear a facemask if you need to be around other people, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wash hands thoroughly afterward.

  • Avoid sharing personal household items. Do not share food, dishes, drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. Clean all frequently touched surfaces in your home daily, including door knobs, light switches, and faucets.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% to 95% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Please carefully review additional information provided to you by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Monitor your symptoms


  1. Contact your health care provider. Call ahead. Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing (such as Uber or Lyft), or taxis if you need to go to a clinic or hospital.

  2. If you need to be around other people in your home, wear a facemask.

  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze. Wash your hands. If you need emergency medical attention any time during the isolation period, call 911 and let them know that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Notify people you’ve been in contact with

Make a list of the people you have been in close contact with, from two days before you started feeling sick until the time you were tested. Tell these people that you may have COVID-19 and that they may have it, too. Tell them you will let them know when you get your test results. Tell them to stay home and away from others until they hear from you. If your test results are positive, they should continue to stay home and away from others for 14 days from their last contact with you. If your test results are negative, and they do not feel sick, they do not have to keep staying apart from others.

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