Tested positive for COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know


A registered nurse with the Department of Health tests for the coronavirus during the COVID-19 drive-thru testing at the Florida Department of Health Marion County.

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Posted August 7, 2020 | By Christy Jergens, Guest Columnist

More than 5,500 Marion County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since Marion’s first case in March.

A registered nurse with the Department of Health tests for the coronavirus during the COVID-19 drive-thru testing at the Florida Department of Health Marion County.

As the community continues to see cases increase, the Department of Health in Marion County wants to re-share key things someone who is newly diagnosed with COVID-19 should know in the days and weeks after their diagnosis.   

Isolating at home

Those who test positive should stay in one room, away from others in your household, including pets. Have sole use of a bathroom. Wear a cloth face covering. Don’t share personal household items like cups, utensils and towels.

At-home care

Regarding care while at home, keep track of any symptoms, and check your temperature twice daily.

Watch for common symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Be alert for severe symptoms: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Call your doctor or health care provider if your symptoms get worse. Ask your doctor or health care provider about pain and fever medication. Get rest and stay hydrated.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html.

Public health staff will ask you about close contacts

If you test positive, over a number of days, staff will monitor you and your contacts. This is called contact tracing, and it’s a core public health function that helps stop the spread of the disease.

Guidelines for stopping self-isolation

The timeline for stopping self-isolation, if you tested positive with symptoms, is at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours have passed since you’ve had a fever without using fever-reducing medications, and other symptoms have improved.

If you tested positive without symptoms, at least 10 days have passed since the day you were tested, and you have no symptoms

As of Aug. 5, Marion County is reporting 5,543 cumulative cases of COVID-19 as of this afternoon. This is an increase of 109 cases since the previous day.

Of Marion COVID-19 tests from Aug. 4, 11.8% were positive; the county’s cumulative positive test rate is 11.7%. The daily positivity rate for all new COVID-19 tests in Florida on Aug. 4 was 10.89%; the state’s cumulative positive rate is 13.16%.

As of Aug. 5, a total of 76 Marion County residents have died after contracting COVID-19. They ranged in age from 32 years old to 98 years old.

Christy Jergens is the public information officer for the Marion County Health Department.