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Positive Case & Close Contact
Guidance

I have COVID-19

Being notified that you have COVID-19 can feel overwhelming. We're here to help. Click on the links below to find answers to common questions.

 

I tested positive at home

If you tested positive for COVID-19 with an at-home testing kit, you should notify your local health department right away. Below are the steps you should take.

  • If you test positive with any commercially-available at-home test kit you can self-report here and MCCHD Case Investigation will contact you to give you isolation instructions, enroll you into SARA-alert and gather information on your close contacts.

  • Anyone that tests positive should immediately begin isolation.

  • Negative tests do not need to be reported but if someone is experiencing Covid-like symptoms and tests negative we encourage them to schedule a PCR test with MCCHD or their healthcare provider. 

 

I am a close contact

Being notified that you were exposed to COVID-19 can feel overwhelming. We're here to help. Click on the links below to find answers to common questions.

 

When will the health dept. contact me?

There are different wait times for the health department to contact you depending on whether you are waiting for test results or waiting for close contact notification. Test results typically get back to a patient within 48 hours. If the patient was tested at a facility other than the health department, the time for notification can vary, depending on how long it takes the private clinic to notify the health department.

 

Close contacts are then notified within 3 to 5 days of the positive case's testing appointment. Positive patients are given up to 24 hours to notify the health department who their close contacts are after receiving their positive test results.

 

Work Quarantine

An approved work quarantine allows a close contact who is deemed an essential critical infrastructure worker to continue working during their ordered quarantine so long as they have no symptoms.  However, this is only to be approved when all other staffing options have been exhausted and public safety will be compromised if the staff person is unable to return to work. The CDC recommends that work quarantines be used as a last resort and only in limited circumstances.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines essential critical infrastructure workers as those who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure.  Essential critical infrastructure worker designation applies to sixteen sectors and is intended to be overly inclusive. Please refer to the image below for examples.  

All work quarantines must be approved by the Missoula City-County Health Department. MCCHD uses guidance from the US. Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine eligibility and work quarantine protocols.  

 

PROCESS TO REQUEST A WORK QUARANTINE

  1. Determine if the individual and situation meet the eligibility requirements.

  2. Initiate the request by emailing workquarantine@missoulacounty.us the following information

    1. Reason for work quarantine and submission these two documents Order for Working Quarantine and Release of Information Form. ​E-signatures are acceptable.

Work quarantine requests will be processed within 24 hours.  

A case monitoring team member will reply within 24 hours by providing signed approval from MCCHD, requesting more information, or explaining why the request is denied.  

HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATION CRITIERIA

Hospitals do not need to request work quarantines through the health department. Hospitals are given permission from the health officer to approve work quarantines for their own employees. 

In addition to the above mentioned eligibility requirements, all health care organizations requesting a work quarantine must adhere to the CDC’s Contingency Capacity Strategies to Mitigate Staffing Shortages. 

  • The CDC recommends that any health care worker (HCW) who is a close contact is excluded from work for full quarantine period after last exposure. However, if staffing shortages occur, it might not be possible to exclude the exposed HCW from work.  

  • Contingency capacities direct healthcare facilities to develop appropriate plans so asymptomatic HCWs who had an unprotected exposure to COVID-19 but are not known to be infected can continue working. 

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