Many people have tested positive for COVID-19. You are not alone and you probably have a lot of questions. Please reach out if you do not see the answers below.
Self reporting Form
Please complete this form so that a Student Health Services staff member can contact you to assist with medical care, campus and community resources, and answer your questions. We know you probably have questions and our friendly staff can help.
Questions about Testing Positive for COVID-19
These are some frequently asked questions about being COVID positive.
- How do I know if this test result was accurate?
There are many factors that can influence a test result; however, a COVID-19 positive result is highly accurate, especially if it was a PCR test.
A false negative result is more common than a false positive result. One reason is that many people test too soon after their exposure and will get a false negative result. It is recommended that a person test 5-7 days after possible exposure.
- If I tested positive, do I need to retest?
No. If you already tested positive, there is no reason to test again. Some people will continue to test positive for a period of time after their initial positive result.
- How long will I test positive?
It is possible to test positive again even after you have recovered from COVID-19. At this time, it is not clear how long this can happen based on data from the CDC.
- I’ve completed my 10 days of isolation, am I still infectious?
If you still have symptoms, then you are still infectious. If you no longer have symptoms, then you are most likely not contagious. Some people who have had severe cases of COVID-19 may be infectious as long as 20 days.
- Can I get COVID-19 again?
Yes, there are reported cases of people becoming re-infected; however, it is rare.
Symptoms of COVID-19
The following list are common symptoms; however, some people may only one or two mild symptoms, and some may have no symptoms at all. Other people could have many symptoms that are much more severe. This disease affects everyone differently and those that are high risk could have very serious complications.
Symptoms may include:
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 Diarrhea
When to Seek Emergency Care
If you develop any of the following symptoms or conditions, get medical attention immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to be roused/awakened Bluish lips or face
If you develop any of the above listed symptoms, call 911 and notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask or face covering before medical help arrives.
Isolation and Quarantine
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or been told by a clinician that you are presumed to be positive, you are required to isolate yourself at home away from others.
Regardless of the outcome of your test, if you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you are expected to stay at home away from others in case you begin to develop symptoms. This can take up to 14 days after exposure.
Quarantine is used by public health professionals to keep exposed individuals away from the public for 14 days. It can take between 2 and 14 days for symptoms to appear in most people after they have been exposed to COVID-19.
If you are in quarantine, it means you cannot attend events, in-person classes, or gather in person with friends or family. You should keep yourself physically distanced from others, staying in your room for the duration of quarantine.
Quarantined people should notify their provider immediately if they begin experiencing symptoms. If someone begins to have symptoms, they may be required to isolate. If you are in quarantine, you are to stay home and away from others. You may leave home to get medical care or to test for COVID-19.
Isolation orders are given to anyone who tests positive or who has symptoms of COVID-19.
Isolation means separating a sick person (or someone who tested positive) in order to prevent them from spreading the virus to others. A person may be asked to isolate at home away from others while they are waiting to be tested, while they recover, or they may be isolated in a healthcare setting if they need medical support to recover.
It also means that if you live with other people, you need to stay in your own space away from others as much as possible. Try NOT to share bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, or any other living space.
If you must share a living space, wear a mask at all times if you are near anyone else, disinfect any area that you have used (for example, the bathroom or kitchen), wash your hands frequently, and stay away from anyone else, as much as possible.
How long does isolation last?
Isolation lasts for at least ten (10) days after symptoms first appeared. If you still have a fever, then at least 1 day (24 hours) after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications. If you are still having any other symptoms, you must continue isolation until those symptoms have improved.
If you never had symptoms (asymptomatic), then you must isolate for 10 days from the date of your positive test result.
When in isolation, you are only allowed to leave your home to receive necessary medical care. You must also notify any close contacts that you have had at least 2 days prior to your symptoms starting. Close contacts are people that you have been within 6 feet of, even while wearing a mask.
If you have not had any symptoms but you tested positive, you must notify any close contacts you in the 7 days prior to your positive result. Close contacts are people that you have been within 6 feet of, even while wearing a mask.
You can receive free medical care at the Student Health Services via telehealth. Telehealth means that your appointment can be on the phone or through Zoom Telehealth. Our licensed medical providers can provide medical consultations and prescriptions. If you need prescription medication, the prescription can be sent to a pharmacy near you or you can pick up at our Student Health Services pharmacy. The medical provider may also recommend over-the-counter medicines to help with your symptoms.
Mental Health Resources
Having a positive COVID-19 diagnosis can be difficult for many people. Some people experience fear, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and even stigma from others. CSULB provides free mental health services via telehealth appointments for our students. Please contact us at either department:
Counseling and Psychological Services
Student Health Services Behavioral Health Department
The Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) can provide free counseling to CSULB staff or faculty.
Faculty and Staff Assistance Program
Mental Health Resources by County:
How to Handle Isolation
Isolation in your room for 10 days can be hard. But remember that you have the strength to make it through this. Lots of rest, plenty of fluids, and managing your symptoms with over the counter medicines will help you get better faster. Please call the SHS if you would like to schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our clinicians 562.985.4771 Whether you have symptoms or not, this time alone may be difficult. Remember that staying in isolation is important to protect your family, friends, and your community. Someone else may have chronic health conditions that put them at high risk, which means that they may not recover if they get COVID. Try to reframe the situation of isolation by taking it as an opportunity to relax, to work on a project in your room, or to use the time to:
- Get ahead with your class assignments
- Journal about this unique time in history and how you feel so you can read about when you are older and this time has passed
- Learn to meditate (meditation can help manage difficult emotions when in isolation)
- Stretch, practice yoga, do pushups, or any core building exercise. Laying around in your bed might make you feel worse emotionally and physically. Use a YouTube video to help lead you through.
- Try a new language on a free app, like Duo Lingo or Babble. They make it fun so you feel like it’s a game, but learning a language is great for your brain!
- Read a book for fun!
If you are feeling sad, lonely, and in need of someone to talk to, please reach out and call the CSULB Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) department. 562.985.4001 They have trained, licensed mental health professionals who can support you during this difficult time.