COVID-19 Testing

When to get tested

The UGPHD, in alignment with guidance from the CDC and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), urges anyone living in Wyandotte County to get tested for COVID-19 if:

You are sick. Remember that COVID-19 symptoms can resemble flu, cold, or allergy symptoms, so it is best to get tested if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Muscle Aches
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Runny Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

You have been exposed to COVID-19, meaning you were in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 (get tested about five days after exposure to COVID-19) 

 

Guidance if You Were Exposed or You Are Sick

Please note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID guidance on August 11, 2022, and that guidance has been adopted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Unified Government Public Health Department (UGPHD). This page has been updated as of August 30, 2022, to reflect the latest guidance. 

Click the menu below for information on what do to if you test positive for COVID-19 or you are exposed to COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19

Regardless of vaccination status, anyone who is sick or who tests positive for COVID-19 with or without symptoms, should:

  • Stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. Wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others in your home. Do not travel.
  • After 5 full days, If you have no symptoms, or you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving. you can leave your home. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
  • For 5 additional days (until day 10), wear a well-fitting mask any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms. Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Some people need to isolate for 10 days. If you had moderate to severe symptoms (such as difficulty breathing), you were hospitalized for COVID, or you have a weakened immune system, please stay home for at least 10 days. If you were severely ill, hospitalized for COVID, or you have a weakened immune system, it is also recommended that you contact your healthcare provider before ending isolation.

See the CDC guidelines for more information:

CDC Isolation Guidelines

 

If you were exposed to COVID-19

The CDC guidelines on what to do if you are exposed to COVID changed on August 11, 2022. These guidelines no longer ask people to quarantine after exposure, regardless of vaccination status. Read the CDC guidance on what to do if you are exposed to COVID, or see more information below.

If you are exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, follow the guidance below:

  • No quarantine required, but take precautions. You do not have to stay home unless you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. Please follow the other guidelines below to monitor for illness and reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 to others.
  • Get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19. Do not go places where you are not able to wear a mask. Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.  
  • Watch for symptoms for 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home and isolate from others.


UGPHD Tip: If you want to be extra cautious after being exposed to COVID, you could consider other ways to reduce risk of COVID spread, such as limiting unnecessary contact with others for 10 days after exposure, or modifying activities to make them safer, like meeting friends outdoors instead of indoors.

At-Home COVID-19 Testing

What are COVID Home Tests?

COVID home tests, also called "self-tests' or "over-the-counter tests," are a useful tool to help determine if you may be infected with COVID and provide results in 15-30 minutes. Self-tests for COVID-19 give rapid results and can be taken anywhere, regardless of your vaccination status or whether or not you have symptoms.

These tests can be bought over the counter at many retail stores. There are also options to get free test kits at locations in Wyandotte County and to order through online resources. Learn more in the sections below on free test kits.

Home tests are antigen tests. This is a different kind of test from the PCR test that is usually offered at hospitals and public health testing sites. Antigen tests are usually reliable but can sometimes be less accurate than PCR tests. Antigen tests and PCR tests do not detect antibodies which would suggest a previous infection and they do not measure your level of immunity.

It is very important to follow the directions exactly as written in the home test you take. Please report the results after taking a home COVID test if you live in Wyandotte County (Kansas City, KS, Edwardsville, KS or Bonner Springs, KS): Report a Home Covid Test

 

Order free home tests

You can order free COVID at-home test kits to be delivered to your home through the programs below.

Project Act: The Rockefeller Foundation launched Project Access Covid Tests (Project ACT) to provide free COVID home test to select communities around the U.S., including Wyandotte County. Click the button below and enter your zip code to order your COVID test kits:

AccessCovidTests.org

Federal home test kit program: Please note that this program will be suspended on Friday, September 2, 2022. Orders will still be accepted before September 2. Click the button below to order online, or call 1 (800) 232-0233 (TTY 1 (888) 720-7489) to order your free tests.

COVID.gov

 

Report COVID home test results

Report your home test results to help track the spread of COVID:

Report COVID Home Test Results

Home test kit expiration date information

Please note: Expiration dates have been extended on some home test kits.

See information on FDA-authorized home COVID tests, including expiration date extensions:

FDA COVID Home Test Info

If you have an iHealth home test kit, look up the expiration date using the lot number here:

Look Up iHealth Expiration Dates

 

Home test instructions

iHealth COVID Home Test Instructions

If you got an iHealth test, watch an instructional video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBt_H4Gc-rU or see steps below.

iHealth home COVID test instructions graphic, steps 1 through 4

  1. Swab your nose: Brush against the inner wall of both nostrils 5 times each in a circular motion with a non-invasive nasal swab. Our nasal swab is soft, highly absorbent, and only needs to be inserted ½ - ¾ inches so you can test yourself comfortably.
  2. Dip the swab in the liquid: Insert the swab with the sample into the bottom of the tube and stir it in the fluid 15 times. Squeeze the sides of the tube around the swab as you pull it out.
  3. Drip the liquid on the test card: Put 3 drops of the mixed solution onto the sample port of the COVID-19 test card.
  4. Wait 15 minutes: Start the timer. Your results will be ready in 15 minutes.

Note: If your kit came with an empty test tube and a sealed liquid-filled packet, then before you start the steps above, pour the liquid from the packet into the tube, and put the lid back on the tube. If your kit came with a pre-filled test tube, you can skip this step.

Graphics and instructions from: https://ihealthlabs.com/products/ihealth-covid-19-antigen-rapid-test

 

CLINITEST® Instructions

If you got a CLINITEST® Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test, view video and written instructions here:

Clinitest Instructions

Clinitest instructions.png  

 

Flowflex Instructions

If you got a Flowflex test, go to flowflexcovid.com or view an instructional video here:

Flowflex instructions video

 

Other COVID Home Test Kits

If you got another type of home COVID test, see information on FDA-authorized home COVID tests, with links to instructions and more information: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/home-otc-covid-19-diagnostic-tests  

 

Interpreting home test results

Most COVID home test kits include a "test card" or "test cassette" that displays your results in a small box with the labels "C" and "T (for "Control" and "Test"). Look for a line next to each letter.

If only a C line appears, the test is negative. If both a C line and a T line appear, the test is positive. The T line may be faint. If there is only a T line and no C line, or there is no line at all, the result is invalid and you will need to take a new test.

Graphic showing how to interpret home COVID test results

What to do when you get your test results

Report results

Whether your result was positive or negative, please report your test result to the UG Public Health Department of Wyandotte County. This helps track the spread of infection and current COVID levels in our community.  Click the button below to fill out an online form to report your results.

Report your home test results

If you test positive for COVID: 

A positive result means the test detected the virus and you have COVID.

Stay home for at least 5 days from when your symptoms started, or from when your positive sample was taken if you don't have symptoms (stay home longer if you aren't feeling better, or if you've had a fever in the last 24 hours).

Please note: If your symptoms were moderate to severe (such as difficulty breathing), you were hospitalized for COVID, or you have a weakened immune system, please isolate for 10 days instead of 5 days. See the section on Quarantine & Isolation for more information, or see the CDC's guidance on isolation when you have COVID.

Tell people you have been in close contact with that they may have been exposed to COVID.

Consider retesting:

Please note: These retesting guidelines apply if you had no symptoms or mild symptoms that have improved. If your symptoms were moderate to severe, you were hospitalized for COVID, or you have a weakened immune system, please follow the CDC guidelines to stay home for 10 days.

After isolating at home for 5 full days, you can test yourself again on day 6 with an ANTIGEN test. First, make sure that your symptoms have improved AND you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Then, you should test. Do NOT use a PCR test for this purpose. 

If the results is negative when you retest, you may leave home, but please wear a well-fitted mask when around other people for 5 more days. You should also avoid travel and avoid being around people who are at high risk for developing severe disease. 

If your result is positive when you retest, you should stay home for 5 more days. At the end of the 5 additional days, you may leave your house if your symptoms have improved AND you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

This guidance applies whether you are vaccinated or not. This helps prevent you from spreading COVID to others. 

When testing or retesting, please check with your employer regarding the kind of test they require if you are testing to leave/return to work.

If you test negative for COVID: 

A negative results means test did not detect the virus, but it doesn’t rule out an infection. 

If your result is negative, consider using another test kit to test yourself in 2 days. Multiple negative tests increase the confidence that you are not infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. 

If the result of your second test is positive, follow the guidance for people who test positive for COVID-19.