Erie has QuickVue COVID-19 self-tests available for Erie patients who are on site for an already scheduled visit. These self-tests are free. Here are some resources to understand more about how and when to use these tests.
When should I test for COVID-19?
- When you have symptoms. Isolate and test as soon as symptoms appear.
- When you have been exposed to someone with symptoms or who tested positive for COVID-19. Plan to take precautions for 10 days. You should get tested 5 or 6 days after you were exposed, and then again 2 or 3 days later.
- Just to know your status before or after a high-risk event. Like going to an event with a lot of people, or traveling.
I was exposed to COVID-19
Quarantine & Test Guidance
If you were exposed to COVID, quarantine. Plan to take precautions for 10 days. The best time to test depends on whether or not you have symptoms. If you do not have symptoms:
If you get symptoms at any point take a test right away and stay home. If you test positive, isolate and review our guidance on testing positive.
Note: These are the CDC’s recommendations. However, your job or school might have different rules for how long you need to quarantine if you were exposed to COVID-19, so you should check with them.
Can I get a self-test from Erie?
Erie currently offers self-test kits to Erie patients who are already on-site for a visit. We are unable to offer self-test kits to non-patients.
Check back regularly to learn if this has changed.
How do I self-test?
To use your self-test kit, read the instructions that come with the kit and carefully follow the directions. Below are additional instructional resources.
- QuickVue At-Home web page
- QuickVue instructions pdf in English (also has information about the chemical ingredients of the test)
- QuickVue instructions pdf in Spanish (also has information about the chemical ingredients of the test)
- Video link to a QuickVue instructional video(English only)
I tested positive for COVID-19
If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate.
Everyone, regardless of symptoms or vaccination status should
- Stay home for 5 full days
- If possible, avoid contact with others in your household during this time. If not possible, everyone in your household should wear a mask.
IF, after DAY 5,
- You have no symptoms OR
- Your symptoms are getting better, AND 24 hours have passed without a fever (without the use of medicines to reduce fever like Tylenol or Ibuprofen),
THEN, you can leave your home with a mask on the following day. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days.
IF, after DAY 5, your symptoms do not improve, stay home until symptoms are improved.
Example of how to count days if you have symptoms:
The first day of your symptoms is DAY 0. Start counting the days 1 FULL day AFTER your symptoms first start.
- John has symptoms of COVID-19.
- His symptoms started on January 1.
- January 1 is symptom DAY 0.
- January 2 is symptom DAY 1.
- By January 6 (DAY 5 of symptoms), John's symptoms have improved. So he can return to work 24 hours later on January 7 (DAY 6). If you had a fever, wait 24 hours after your fever ends before you leave home.
NOTE: If you have no symptoms when you took the test, and later develop symptoms, you should isolate for 5 days after symptoms start.
Note: These are the CDC’s recommendations. However, your job or school might have different rules for how long you need to stay home if you test positive, so you should check with them.
I tested negative, but I have symptoms of COVID-19
If you tested negative, but you have symptoms of COVID-19, Erie Family Health Centers recommends that you STAY HOME from work, school or daycare (quarantine) until ALL of these things are true:
- You have gone 24 hours without a fever without the use of medicines to reduce fever like Tylenol or Ibuprofen
- You feel an improvement in symptoms (note: symptoms do not need to be completely gone)
- You meet the criteria for return to work or school per your school/daycare/employer policies
Once all of these things are true, AND if you have not been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should be able to return to work, school, or daycare.
If you have symptoms and a negative test result, it can be a good idea to re-test 1-2 days after your first test.
If you have no symptoms when you took the test, and later get symptoms, you should test again when your symptoms appear.
Your job or school might have different rules for how long you need to stay home if you have symptoms, so you should check with them.
Home Care Guidance for Viral Illness
If you have symptoms and aren’t feeling well, protect yourself and others with the following:
- Continue to wear a mask around others and stay distanced from others – even at home
- Avoid social gatherings
- Remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Wash your hands frequently
- Clean surfaces and personal items regularly
To help with symptoms, you can try:
- Drink warm fluids with honey (if over 1 year old) or warm apple juice (6 months or older)
- Avoid juices if diarrhea is present
- Drink warm broths
- Use an air humidifier
- Gargle with warm salt water 3-4 times per day
- Use saline nasal spray for congestion, irritated nostrils, or sore throat
- Take Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever or pain
- Eat Pedialyte popsicles
- For mild shortness of breath, lay on your belly if able
As a reminder, Erie is only able to provide medical advice for registered patients. Call your medical provider if:
- You are experiencing symptoms and are moderately or severely immunocompromised OR 65 and older and not vaccinated
- If you receive a positive test AND are pregnant, or under 1 year old
- You don't urinate in more than 8 hours
- Your symptoms are getting worse 5 or more days into your illness
- A fever over 101 lasts for 96 hours or more OR if your fever is over 104 and not responding to medication
- You are unsure if you might be experiencing an emergency
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19.
If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. As a reminder, Erie is only able to provide medical advice for registered patients.
Get vaccinated and get boosted!
The COVID-19 vaccine is the best tool we have to protect you and your loved ones from the worst of COVID. It's available for everyone age 5 and up. It's not too late to get started. Visit erie.health/vaccine.