COVID-19 Testing


Questions? Call the Winnebago County Health Department's COVID-19 Hotline at 920-232-3026. 


Who should get teste
d:

No matter your vaccination status, you should get tested if you were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms.  

 

When To Test If You've Been Exposed To COVID-19

When to get tested: 

If you are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to COVID-19:

    • For exposure that is NOT ongoing, test 5-7 days after exposure.
    • If you are unable to separate from someone who has COVID-19 (i.e. ongoing exposure), test 5-7 days after first exposure and again 5-7 days after last exposure - if the first test was negative. 
    • Those who are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to COVID-19 should wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. 

If you are not fully vaccinated and have been exposed to COVID-19:

  • For exposure that is NOT ongoing, test 5-7 days after exposure.
  • If you are unable to separate from someone who has COVID-19 (i.e. ongoing exposure), test 5-7 days after first exposure and again 5-7 days after the last exposure - if the first test was negative. 
  • Those who are not fully vaccinated and have been exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine for a full 14 days unless eligible for a shortened quarantine.

COVID-19 Testing: What You Need To Know

 

Where to get tested:

  • At your doctor's office. Contact your doctor or primary health care provider.
  • At a community testing site. Testing at these sites is free. Some locations may require an appointment to receive a test. 
  • At home using DHS at-home specimen collection kits or with store-bought COVID-19 testing kits.

 

COVID-19 At Home TestAt-home testing kits:

  • DHS at-home specimen collection kits can be requested and completed from your home. Once you receive your collection kit, you must collect the sample in the presence of licensed health care professional over a virtual Zoom call. Detailed instructions on how to request a kit, complete the collection process, and send in your sample are available on the DHS website
  • Store-bought COVID-19 testing kits (such as those bought at a pharmacy), are not supervised by a health care professional and are not sent to a lab for processing. Store-bought COVID-19 testing kits cannot be used to inform any public health decisions. If you choose to use a store-bought at-home testing kit, be sure to follow up with a test done by a health care provider at a community or clinical testing site.   

Consider getting tested if...

You have attended a one-time, high-risk activity, such as a large gathering or an indoor event with people you do not live with.

  • If you start to feel sick, get tested right away.
  • If you do not feel sick, get a COVID-19 test at least five days after the event. If the test is negative and you are worried you might have been close to someone with COVID-19 (exposed), get another test 12-14 days after the event, even if you do not feel sick.

You are actively engaged with people outside of your household or are working at places that remain open during the pandemic. This includes critical infrastructure, first responders, health care, retail, etc.

  • If you do not have symptoms and you have not been told you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are still at risk given how quickly the virus is spreading.
  • Make an appointment at a Community Testing Site. Plan ahead to find an available appointment, even if that includes looking at a testing location a little farther away.
  • The DHS at-home specimen collection kit may also be a good option for those getting tested as part of a screening strategy. Ask your employer about how often you need to be tested.

You are returning to a classroom or campus.

  • Children returning to school, youth sports, or extracurricular activities.
  • College and trade-school students returning to classes or campus.
  • Elementary school educators and school staff whose schools have returned to an in-person or hybrid learning model.

 

What should I do while I'm waiting for test results?

Take these next steps while you wait for test results. While you're waiting for your test results, it's important that you isolate yourself. Do not have contact with others. Do not go to work, meet up with friends or attend gatherings. Isolating yourself will prevent spread of the virus should you test positive.