Follow-up Instructions for After Your COVID-19 Test

When will I receive my results?

It may take one to two days to receive your test results, although test results may be available sooner.

Please do not contact the emergency department, clinic or lab for test results.

How will I receive my results?

If the result is positive or inconclusive

A member of the UW Medicine team will call you for further discussion. You may also view your result in eCare or through your QR code.

If the result is negative

You will receive this information by phone, via eCare or through your QR code.

Pre-surgical evaluations

A member of your surgery team will review your results and contact you if needed. Please remain isolated until your surgery date to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

eCare

If you are a UW Medicine patient, eCare is the fastest way to receive your results. Results will be released to eCare within one hour of being posted in our system. You may receive your results before we are able to contact you.

QR Code

If you received a QR code label, you may view your results at securelink.labmed.uw.edu. You will not receive a notification when your result is ready to view, but you can visit the site as many times as you wish to check the result status.

What do I do while I wait for my test results?

  • Do not return to work or your regular activities outside of home.
  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Follow the instructions for home isolation on the back.

Who can I contact for questions?

Call 206.520.8700 for any COVID-19 questions or if your symptoms are worsening. Please allow 48 hours for results to finalize before contacting us about your result status.

What do I do if my test is ...?


If your test result was positive (detected), this means the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 was present in your test sample.

Treatment of COVID-19 does not require an antibiotic. If your symptoms are generally mild and stable, please isolate yourself at home. If it becomes difficult to breathe, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

If you received testing as part of your pre-surgery evaluation, a member of your surgery team will be in contact with you.

Next steps:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Follow the instructions for home isolation below.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor or a hospital.

When can my home isolation end?

You should isolate yourself:

  • For a minimum of 10 days and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since your last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • All other symptoms have improved


If your test result was inconclusive, this means the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 may be present in your test sample.

An inconclusive test result is treated the same as a positive test result.

Treatment of COVID-19 does not require an antibiotic. If your symptoms are generally mild and stable, please isolate yourself at home. If it becomes difficult to breathe, contact your doctor.

If you received testing as part of your pre-surgery evaluation, a member of your surgery team will be in contact with you.

Next steps:

  • Stay home except to get medical care.
  • Follow the instructions for home isolation below.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor or a hospital.

When can my home isolation end?

You should isolate yourself:

  • For a minimum of 10 days and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since your last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • All other symptoms have improved


If you tested negative (not detected), it is highly unlikely that you have COVID-19.

Several respiratory viruses can cause symptoms like yours, including the common cold or the flu. If you received testing as part of your pre-surgery evaluation, a member of your surgery team will be in contact with you if needed.

Next steps:

  • Stay home while you are feeling sick.
  • Monitor your symptoms and contact your doctor if they get worse.
  • If you have questions, contact your doctor.

When can my home isolation end?

If you were tested because you were exposed to a household contact with COVID-19, you should still quarantine yourself for a period of 14 days. The 14-day quarantine period begins once your affected household contact is isolated. If you are unable to quarantine yourself from your affected household contact, the 14-day quarantine period begins when the patient meets criteria to break isolation.

If you were not exposed to a household contact with COVID-19, you may still be contagious while experiencing symptoms, so you should not return to work or regular activities until 24 hours after symptoms fully improve. For example, if you feel back to normal on Tuesday, you should remain isolated until Wednesday.

Instructions for Self-Isolation at Home

We recommend you stay in your home and minimize contact with others to avoid spreading this infection.

Stay home except to get medical care.

Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people in your home as much as possible.

Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home as much as possible. Use a separate bathroom if possible.

Clean your hands often.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Do not share household items with other people in your home.

This includes sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all "high-touch" surfaces regularly.

This includes counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.

Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, mask or the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

When seeking care at a healthcare facility:

  • Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).
  • When possible, call the healthcare provider before arriving.
  • Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.
  • If possible, put on a facemask before the ambulance or paramedics arrive.
  • These steps will help the healthcare provider's office prevent other people from getting infected or exposed.

Detailed information about these steps can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

Resources

Information Lines

Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center
1.800.525.0127

UW Medicine COVID-19 Information Line
206.520.2285