General Question

tedibear's avatar

When should I be tested, if at all?

Asked by tedibear (18797points) 1 month ago

My manager informed us this afternoon that her son-in-law tested positive for COVID-19. He told her as soon as he received his result today from a pre-operative test. I do not know if it was the standard test or a rapid test, nor the date of his test.

She last saw him on Sunday, 11/29, and generally sees him every other day. I think they consider themselves to be part of each other’s “bubble”, and as such, do not wear masks when together.

I last saw her on Friday, 11/27. She and I always wear our masks at work. There were several times throughout the day when we were less than six feet apart for more than 15 minutes.

While I continue to wait on hold to get a medical professional’s opinion, can anyone tell me the appropriate time to be tested?

I have no symptoms, but that doesn’t mean I am not infected.

I have poked around online, but can’t find a definitive answer. I don’t want to waste a test, but I don’t want to delay isolation or quarantine if that’s where I belong.

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30 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

ask your doc.

janbb's avatar

Sent it to Caravanfan.

Caravanfan's avatar

Get tested now. Get repeat tested if you develop any symptoms. Good luck.

JLeslie's avatar

I would isolate now, but it is easy for me to do it.

Seems like a good question is when is your boss going to be tested? She had the direct contact. If she is negative a week out, then probably you have not been exposed.

I wouldn’t trust the the antigen test if it came back negative only 4 days after you were possibly infected, the PCR test maybe. I don’t know which test you have convenient to you. I’d be extra cautious around others anyway for 10 days, or like I said, I can just stay home, so if you can why not do it?

I’m not trying to discourage you from testing, I think always best to have as much information as possible.

Cupcake's avatar

It’s a potential secondary exposure. In FL, you would be told to stay home and only get tested if you develop symptoms.

You can contact your local health department and ask if you meet their testing criteria.

JLeslie's avatar

How are you doing?

Did your boss get tested?

tedibear's avatar


My boss has been isolated at home, and has no symptoms. She has not been tested as no one will test her without symptoms. Same for me. It’s frustrating, though I understand the reasoning.

I haven’t had any symptoms, nor has my co-worker. One positive thing, my co-worker now wears her mask correctly all the time.

I appreciate everyone’s answers and concern! Thank you.

Caravanfan's avatar

FWIW I think it’s totally fucking stupid for places to put barriers on testing. “Only test when you have symptoms” is total bullshit. Asymptomatic carriers is totally a thing, and are likely superspreaders as since they have no symptoms they spew virus out to infect other people.

@tedibear What state and county do you live in? I’ll see if I can pull up the testing policy for that county if you can’t find it.

This is from the FAQ of my county website. My county encourages EVERYBODY to get tested, for free, regardless of whether you have symptoms or not.

I don’t feel sick, so why should I get tested?
People can spread COVID-19 without knowing that they are sick, so protect your family, friends, and neighbors by getting tested. You can get tested for free, whether you have symptoms or not. Scheduling an appointment and getting tested is quick and easy.

Anyone who is regularly in contact with the general public (i.e. works in health care, retail, food services, transportation, or schools) should get tested monthly. Employees in certain sensitive professions may be notified by their employer if they need to be tested more frequently than once a month.

If you have been to a gathering, especially a large or indoor gathering, you should consider getting tested. Weddings, large religious events especially with singing, funerals and family gatherings have all been “super spreader” events. If you have attended one of these events, getting tested could help protect you and your loved ones.

If you plan to gather with people outside of your household, getting a COVID-19 test three to seven days before gathering may provide additional peace of mind, though it is not a guaranteed prevention against the spread of COVID-19 as you may become infectious later, or get infected after the test.

JLeslie's avatar

Florida lets you get tested without symptoms too. The state website has locations where there is free testing and other information.

If the person can isolate then the test isn’t necessary to keep others safe, but many people still want to know.

Here’s the Florida website, but I don’t think anyone will likely care about the FL rules for this Q.

People get tested before going on trips and before seeing relatives to feel more confident that it’s safe to be together. I think that was part of the long lines in states before Thanksgiving even though a lot of media made it seem like all those people in line were worried they had covid.

I’m surprised @tedibear can’t get a test if she wants one.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just SAY you have symptoms. Just tell them you have a headache, and a dry cough isn’t hard to fake.

tedibear's avatar

@caravanfan That was excellent advice! I checked my county website and I can be tested. The soonest I can get in is Sunday, so that’s when I am going.

@Dutchess_III, I won’t lie to a medical professional/ official.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedibear Isn’t Sunday ten days already? I wouldn’t bother. Good to make the appointment if you start getting sick by then, and you can cancel if you want. Ten days is the quarantine requirement with direct exposure, you will have already fulfilled it, and we don’t know if you were even exposed.

As you know I’m not a doctor, but doesn’t make sense to me to get a test.

Caravanfan's avatar

Get a test.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Many places won’t test if you don’t have symptoms.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravanfan Even though the quarantine time is up? Even if she had asymptomatic covid she likely won’t be shedding virus anymore. That’s the point of the ten day quarantine isn’t it?

@Dutchess_III Many places will. Anyone can get a test in Florida. The OP said she can get tested.

Caravanfan's avatar

Get one anyway.

chyna's avatar

@JLeslie @caravanfan explained it up there why she needs to be tested. Since he has been in the trenches from day 1, I would accept what he suggests.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The OP said he can not be tested with no symptoms @JLeslie. Here

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna It’s not the recommendation and not in line with the CDC recommendation or the fact that over 98% of people start symptoms by day ten. Having said that, I have no problem with anyone getting a test at any time if they want one. If they want it just to be sure I’m fine with it. If they want one before they visit their family I’m fine with that. If they want one before they go to Disney World I’m fine with that. If they want one before returning to work I’m fine with it.

I was not challenging @Caravanfan just curious why he still recommends the test. Wondering if he has seen people come back positive day 10 asymptomatic. If he has then that’s pretty important to know, because the recommendations now are that we don’t need to worry about that. The recommendation might need to be changed again. I’m not assuming anything. We learn more as we go.

Original information from China was the longest they observed was an 11 day incubation if I remember correctly, so it’s not impossible to be contagious day ten if that’s accurate, but most people it’s day 4–7.

@Cupcake Works in healthcare too.

@Dutchess_III The OP was able to get an appointment for Sunday.

Caravanfan's avatar

The recommendations are just that. Recommendations. There is nothing magic about 10 days. They had to pick something. Do you know why 10 days? Because you have 10 fingers on your hand, and 10 days is easy for people to remember.

chyna's avatar

As a side note: a man I know in his 60’s has multiple under lying conditions and has stayed home this entire time. His daughter had a “mild case” of Covid, hardly any symptoms. She made thanksgiving dinner and took it to him. Left it on his porch. He is now In the hospital with Covid in critical condition, with his kidneys shutting down.
His daughter is very distraught that she gave it to him.

JLeslie's avatar

It was 14 days, I assume mostly because people can count it more easily. Starts Saturday ends Saturday. Plus, like I said, Wuhan had the 11.5 day incubation on record, so 14 days was a safety measure probably also knowing a lot people are likely to not be completely compliant, so to get 12 days they might have used 14 days. They try to juggle science and the actual behaviors people demonstrate with compliance. Just think about how many people don’t take their last two pills of antibiotics on a ten day course, probably a significant percentage, but still the minority.

Now, the science has reinforced 10 days as more than good measure, and also now they decided 14 days is too much of a burden so they shortened it to 10 days.

@chyna That’s just incredibly stupid behavior. She was sick. Did he have contact with anyone else? If he had reheated the food and washed his hands it should have protected him. I feel badly for them both. It’s impossible to be perfect, but she was sick.

tedibear's avatar

@Dutchess_III , please see my second post in the comments. I found out that I can be tested. PS: I’m a she, not a he.

canidmajor's avatar

I would recommend following the advice of actual medical professionals, and get tested, more than once if necessary. No sense in taking any chances. Good luck!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I did find that post.
Sorry about the gender mix up. I assumed your name was Ted.

tedibear's avatar

Did my test today. The swab was annoying, but not painful. It will be a few days before I know.

Silly Dutchess, we’re Facebook friends! Maybe my posts there are very gender neutral?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have a hard time keeping track of who’s who!”

tedibear's avatar

Test was negative!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I found you!

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