Should I be tested for COVID-19 infection?

Those who should get tested for COVID-19 include people who:

  • Have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Have had close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19
    • Close contact means someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person over a 24-hour period for a combined total of 15 minutes or more
  • Have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare provider or the Department of Health

Follow these guidelines if you are tested for COVID-19

Should I wear a mask?


  • Wearing a mask helps protect those around you.
  • When worn over our nose and mouth, masks reduce the spray of your respiratory droplets from reaching others.
  • You should wear a mask even if you do not feel sick.  Studies have found that people with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic can still spread the virus to other people.  Wearing a mask protects those around you, in case you are infected but not showing symptoms. 
  • A mask is NOT a substitute for physical distancing (remaining 6 feet apart from others) but is especially important when in close contact with other people since COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are within about 6 feet of each other.

More information about mask wearing in Hawaii

How long do I have to isolate from others after becoming sick?

People with COVID-19 can end their home isolation period after ALL of the following requirements have been met:

  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared, AND
  • At least 24 hours have passed since you have had a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicine, AND
  • Other symptoms (for example cough or shortness of breath) have improved.

This guidance also applies to people who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever AND cough or shortness of breath) but who have not been tested for the virus.

For people who tested positive for COVID-19 but never developed symptoms:

  • Remain in isolation for 10 days after the date your test was collected.

I am a close contact of a COVID-19 case.  Why do I need to stay in quarantine for 10 days if I test negative?

A negative test means that you weren’t infected at the time the test was collected.  It does not mean that you might not still develop COVID-19.  CDC recommends 14 days of quarantine after exposure to someone with COVID-19 based on the time it takes to develop illness if infected.   

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