CBJ Stock Image

If you test positive for COVID-19, let your close contacts know immediately

October 28, 2020 – News

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they are first notified of their result by testing facilities or providers. Due to a statewide data reporting backlog, it may be a few days before cases are entered into the Department of Health and Social Services system and a Public Health contact tracer can call those who test positive. In the meantime, those who test positive are urged to immediately call their own close contacts. The sooner close contacts can self-quarantine, get tested, and isolate if needed, the better to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to family, friends and others within your community.

“Giving people a chance to know they’ve been exposed gives them a chance to protect their loved ones and others,” Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink says.

If you’re notified by a testing provider or provider that you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you should:

  • Call the Juneau Public Health Center at 465-3353 to talk to a Public Health Nurse, and isolate. Stay home for a minimum of 10 days. If you live with others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area and away from other people.
  • Think back to the date when your symptoms began OR when your test was collected if you were asymptomatic.
  • Make a list of everyone you had close contact with within 48 hours prior to that date until the time you started isolating.
  • “Close contact” means someone you came within 6 feet of for at least 15 minutes (this can be cumulative or at one time).
  • Call the people on your list and let them know that you tested positive for COVID-19 and they should quarantine for 14 days.

If you’re a close contact, you should:

  • Immediately quarantine for 14 days. Stay home, don’t go to work/school or any other indoor public place, and don’t have guests over.
  • Call your healthcare provider or COVID-19 Screening Hotline (586-6000) about getting tested for COVID-19 seven days after exposure or sooner if you develop symptoms.

People can also help by keeping their social circles small and keeping track of all contacts. For more information on contact tracing, go to this Alaska Department of Health and Social Services webpage.