After receiving a positive test result, it is possible to continue testing positive for antigens for a few weeks. Additionally, you may test positive for NAAT up to 90 days after the onset of symptoms. The first day of isolation is the first full day after the start of symptoms. If you don't have any symptoms or they go away after five days, you can leave your house with a mask on.
If you have a fever five days after testing positive or showing symptoms, continue to isolate until the fever subsides. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, make sure to notify dispatch staff that you have or may have COVID-19.Additionally, if the sample collection technique is not done correctly, it can lead to a too low amount of virus to give a positive result. Furthermore, if you have been vaccinated and boosted, it is possible to have a viral level high enough to cause symptoms but too low to give a positive result in a rapid test. In some cases, people who have been treated with the oral antiviral drug Paxlovid tested negative for rapid antigens with no symptoms, only to “recover” between seven and 14 days after their initial positive test.If you've had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you should still be tested if you have symptoms but use an antigen test instead of a PCR or other molecular test as molecular tests can continue to detect the virus even after feeling better.
In most cases, people test positive for COVID-19 with an antigen or a rapid test for up to 10 days. If you are exposed to someone who has COVID-19 or has symptoms but receives a negative test result, another test should be done within 48 hours.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who don't have symptoms can end isolation 5 days after a positive test while those who do have symptoms can end up in isolation 5 days after a positive test as long as their symptoms improve and they don't have a fever for 24 hours. The CDC also does not recommend repeating the test within three months of a previous positive test as it is possible to test positive for COVID-19 for weeks or even months after the initial infection despite having no symptoms.The CDC has created an online calculator that provides an easy-to-use way to help people follow their isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19 and to obtain personalized information to address their particular situation. Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between the time a person tests positive for a rapid test and the time when a live virus can be collected from them.As fall temperatures hit and travel increases, people will no doubt have questions about testing for COVID-19.However, simply being up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines can replace the need to get a negative test result in some cases.