COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is extremely contagious. Since December 2019, cases have been identified in a growing number of countries, and in 2020 COVID-19 was classified as a pandemic. COVID-19 has often included a fever and cough, while it’s also capable of progressing into more severe symptoms and on occasion death.
*It is important to note that public health professionals are learning more about the COVID-19 virus every day. While we will attempt to keep information up-to-date, please also consult with the additional resources at the bottom of this page for the latest.
Where can I get tested or pick up at-home tests?
The Orleans Community Health – Albion Healthcare Center continues to be an easy and effective option for individuals seeking COVID-19 tests. To date, the clinic has conducted over 30,000 tests.
Most area pharmacies, such as Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, and others have testing options available.
Where do I report a positive COVID-19 test result?
Orleans County or Genesee County, you can report your results https://gohealthny.org/covid-19-testing-information/
Niagara County, you can report your results here https://www.niagaracounty.com/health/Services/Public-Health-Preparedness/2019-Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19/Positive-COVID-19-Home-Test-Reporting-Form
What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should:
- Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
- Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
- Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home. If possible, use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals, wear a mask. Additional guidance is available for those living in close quarters and shared housing.
- Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, whether or not they are fully vaccinated, must follow the guidance of a medical provider or contact tracer. Individuals with COVID-19 are generally instructed to stay home and keep isolated from others until it has been:
- 10 days since you first tested positive AND
- You have gone at least 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) AND
- Your other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (loss of taste and smell can last for weeks or months after recovery from the virus and, in the absence of other symptoms, should not delay the end of your isolation)
- You should be able to resume normal activities such as returning to class or work once you meet the criteria above, and do not need to seek a negative test. Anyone required to test will be exempt for 90 days from their initial positive test result.
For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
If I’m exposed to someone with COVID-19, what do I do?
According to the CDC, you should quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated.
I’m fully vaccinated… If you are identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and if you are fully vaccinated, monitor for symptoms for 14 days and get tested within three to five days of the close contact. You do not need to quarantine as long as you remain asymptomatic.
I’m not vaccinated… If you are not fully vaccinated, you should get tested and should quarantine for 10 days, and monitor your symptoms for another 4 days assuming you remain asymptomatic.
*Reminder: a negative test during your quarantine period does not eliminate the importance of fulfilling the duration.