Many peopoel have questions about what to do surrounding COVID-19 symptoms and testing, according to a news. Otter Tail County Public Health offered this guidance:

When to get tested?

People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested. Those who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should also seek testing. For those who are a close contact, it is recommended to seek testing five to seven days after exposure.

Where to get testing?

At this time, testing is provided at multiple local clinics. It is best to call the clinic and determine the best way to access testing. Appointments are often required. For clinics offering testing, please see the Otter Tail County COVID-19 webpage or visit the state of Minnesota COVID-19 Response webpage.

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When will test results be in?

It will take several days for the clinic to get those tested their test results. While waiting for results, stay home, and separate from other people in your home as much as possible. Please answer the phone if it is Public Health or Minnesota Department of Health staff calls.

What if the test result is positive?

Stay home and isolate until:

  • Feeling better. Cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better; and,

  • It has been 10 days since first feeling sick or 10 days from the testing date if asymptomatic and,

  • Having no fever for the last 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fever.

The tests results are negative, and was in contact with someone with COVID-19, what should be done?

Staying home for 14 days of quarantine is still needed from the last contact with that person. It can take up to two weeks for a person who was exposed to COVID-19 to become sick, so if tested early after being exposed, the test may not have detected the virus yet.

The test is negative, has had no contact with someone with COVID-19, and do not have symptoms- is it necessary to quarantine?

No, but people should still wear a mask when going out and stay 6 feet away from others. A negative test at one point in time does not protect people from becoming sick with COVID-19 later. If exposed to someone with COVID-19 or develop symptoms, contact a health care provider about getting tested again.

In the release, Public Health said it understands there is a lot of information about what to do and not to do regarding COVID-19 testing and results. Please contact Otter Tail County Public Health at 218-998-8320. Public Health is here to answer people’s questions and share resources.

Otter Tail County Public Health does not provide COVID-19 testing. Flu vaccines are given by appointment only in Fergus Falls, New York Mills, and Ottertail city area. Call to schedule an appointment or visit: